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Viewable ad impressions, engagement and tablet optimization

September 4, 2013


Dan Meehan is founder/CEO of PadSquad

Dan Meehan is founder/CEO of PadSquad

By Dan Meehan

As the digital media and advertising marketplace continues to evolve, tablet and mobile media have taken center stage.

It is no secret that consumer behavior typically drives the media industry. Media consumption from tablet devices continues to explode, mostly at the expense of desktop/PC time spent.

Mind the gap
Much has been made about the gap between consumer time spent with online and mobile, and the gap in media spent in those categories.

Interestingly enough, time spent does not always correlate to advertising results.

Positive add message recall is part of the Holy Grail for brand advertising, and studies prove ad recall results by media type does not necessarily compare to the amount of time consumer’s spent on those media types.

According to a study in the Admap Journal of Advertising, in the United States, recall of ads tracked by media showed TV scored 72 percent, Internet 14 percent and magazines 38 percent.

Clearly, that does not follow metrics for consumer time spent with that media type.

Just because consumers spend time with a medium does not mean the recall of brand advertising works in that media.

As it pertains to tablet media and ad recall, we must talk about the movement in digital to viewable ad impressions.

Making an impression
In digital, an unbelievable 31 percent of display ads are never seen by their audience, according to a 2012 study by comScore.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s viewable standard is that advertisers are only charged for impressions that are on screen for at least one second. No wonder “desktop” digital CPMs are decreasing every year for publishers, and advertisers are seeing less than a 0.10 percent click-through rate.

So let us talk about why we think tablet-optimized mobile Web sites present a game-changing opportunity for the digital media industry for publishers and advertisers alike.

For publishers who wish to create touch-optimized versions of their mobile Web sites, there exist numerous vendor options that have launched to serve this market niche.

On an optimized mobile Web site, typically all content is touch-enabled and above the fold as consumers touch and swipe to engage with it.

This results in 100 percent ad viewable impressions. Every ad impression is above the fold and resulting from a consumer engagement with the tablet content.

How does this affect advertisers?

Will it click?
In many cases, advertisers can an average click-through rate between 2-4 percent when investing in mobile Web sites that have an optimized version.

This represents a 20-times to 30-times lift versus average click-through rate on desktop. So clearly above the fold, touch-enabled tablet advertising units work for marketers.

Yet many major brands and their advertising agencies are hesitant to release large tablet-specific advertising budgets.

One obstacle holding those budgets back is certainly scale.

So as consumers demand better user experiences on tablets, savvy publishers will adopt tablet-optimized versions of their sites, leading to more optimized tablet ad inventory for advertisers.

THIS ADOPTION of tablet device specific publishing – aka “optimization” – is only a matter of time.

After all, consumer behavior typically drives the media industry.

The only question is: How fast will publishers get tablet-optimized and what brand advertisers will lead the industry into this unbelievably effective ad media?

As a marketing or ad agency professional, ask yourself: Why am I not at least testing tablet-optimized advertising when all the data points to its effectiveness?

Daniel Meehan is founder/CEO of PadSquad, New York. Reach him at 

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