In a classic content vs. context match-up, the mobile-specific advertising network that many digital marketers bought into heavily has completely failed to live up to expectations. It’s performed so miserably that its major players are showing no profits and losses in the millions, according to Jack Marshall of Digiday.
The problem isn’t so much the idea of mobile advertising in and of itself. Rather it’s an issue of channel-specific content that is only good for one thing (viewing on a mobile device), in an age where efficiency and cross-channel leverage of advertising budgets is paramount.
“Advertisers just aren’t that interested in tipping large amounts of their ad budgets into mobile-specific campaigns unless they’re selling mobile content or related products,” explains Marshall in his article “The Decline and Fall of the Mobile Ad Network.”
“As [Tim] Dunn [of Roundarch Isobar] points out, most big-brand marketers would rather buy a sponsored post on Facebook, a promoted tweet on Twitter or a piece of sponsored content direct from a publisher that will reach their audience regardless of the device they happen to be using,” continues Marshall. “They’re interested in audiences, not device-types, and that’s a problem for mobile ad networks.”
Recent hype aside, content producers are far more interested in reaching customers wherever they are than reaching mobile users specifically. The companies that understand that it’s the content, not the screen on which it’s read, that matters are the ones capitalizing on the digital opportunity to connect with consumers.
The single channel mobile ads just aren’t flying.