5 Mobile Ad Trends to Watch in 2014
Mobile ad platform vendor Opera Mediaworks released its annual roundup of mobile ad trends. As we all seem to be moving into a mobile world--check the latest downgrading of PC commercial fortunes--and advertising continues to shift to digital platforms, getting a sense of where things are going is a good idea for anyone in business. Here are a few points that seemed particularly important.
Say hello to rich media and buh-bye to banners
If you see banner ads as an important part of your online marketing mix, don't worry as they're not disappearing tomorrow. However, with the tiny screens on mobile phones, banners can be a joke. A much better option is to push them out as rich media ads. Things like tap-to-expand or mobile video offer greater engagement, which is probably why each hit 6 percent share this last year.
Speak to me, baby
Users love interactive voice capabilities--that is, when they actually work and deliver what consumers look for. But the technology and its use will get better. Opera Mediaworks says that voice will become a big thing in advertising. Part of the reason is that it's working with Nuance Communications (big name in voice recognition) on an interactive voice ad unit in the U.S. Hey, they're marketers; you had to figure that something would be self serving. But, it makes sense. Not only is there the novelty factor, but voice can be an effective user interface in a mobile device.
Mobile publishing becomes a must
You can't assume that people will see your digital marketing if you focus on PC and laptop platforms. Both Apple's iOS and Google's Android have more than a million apps each. Global consumer reach is something like 400 million. That's a lot of people to ignore, and if you do, bet that your competitor might not.
Don't ignore the little robot guy
I remember when people would mock if you suggested that Android had a chance in the market. Not only has it taken market share in unit sales, but apparently the mobile operating system is the leader in ad impressions as well.
Phone + tablet = no desktop
Most people don't need desktops the way they once did. Instead, a combination of a smartphone and tablet has shown it can fill in for the older devices. Apple still rules tablets with the iPad, but Android has become a growing contender, with ads on those tablets representing 12 percent of the whole, a year over year doubling.
In short, things are quickly changing and you have to change with them if you want your online marketing to work in the coming years.
ERIK SHERMAN | Columnist
Erik Sherman's work has appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Magazine, and Fortune. He also blogs for CBS MoneyWatch.