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For many publishers, the future is mobile, and that means that figuring out how to monetize mobile eyeballs is a top priority.
Many observers believe that it's only a matter of time before companies like Facebook crack the mobile monetization nut, and the most bullish observers go so far as to suggest that mobile ad spend could one day surpass television ad spend, which exceeds $100bn globally on an annual basis.
But unbridled optimism may be premature according to a new report published by research firm Forrester Research. According for Forrester, 70% of the consumers it surveyed as part of a study commissioned by mobile ad company Tapjoy said that in-app ads that trigger automatically are more annoying than television ads.
TapJoy's CMO, Peter Dille, told AdAge:
People are very finicky about how they want to be advertised to. On their mobile device, that's become heightened because it's such a highly personal experience. Being interrupted while checking email and using apps is not desirable.
Apparently it's less desirable than ads that interrupt a favorite television program, something that should be of obvious concern to the growing number of marketers investing money in mobile campaigns. After all, if disdain for television ads spurred the rise of the DVRs as ad-skipping solution, one can only imagine how difficult it will be for marketers to convince consumers that the growing number of in-app ads being served to them are actually a good thing.
Thinking beyond "advertising"
So if 68% of the consumers Forrester polled indicate that their top mobile ad request is that ads don't interrupt their usage of apps, how are marketers supposed to use mobile effectively? According to Forrester's survey, more than half (59%) of consumers are interested in rewards for interacting with mobile ads, while 40% indicated that they're open to the possibility of being able to select the types of ads that are displayed.
But marketers should also consider that the nature of mobile devices provides an opportunity to think beyond traditional ad formats. Mobile email is increasingly important to marketers, something evidenced by the growth in mobile email opens this holiday shopping season, so recognizing, for instance, that email marketing is a form of mobile marketing and adhering to mobile email design best practices as a result can help marketers boost their mobile returns without having to resort to campaigns that are just as dissatisfying to marketers as they are annoying to consumers.