While mobile appears to be a complex ecosystem with its own vernacular, the media buying process is very similar to other familiar platforms including the PC-based internet. This booklet guides you through that process in plain English and will get you started as a first time mobile advertiser. While mobile advertising is much like advertising on any other medium, it’s important to remember that there are also some critical differences as well. These key differences, such as different creative specs, richer interactive possibilities, and measurement challenges, can and should impact your mobile strategy.
Yet ultimately, it is about finding the right places to connect your client with the right audience to deliver the right message. In fact, mobile is an execution point on your current advertising strategy; or simply put, another medium to add to your arsenal to reach the right consumer. We will provide a few straightforward pointers to get you started. This guide was first produced in 2009, and the IAB has updated it in 2012 to reflect new technologies and trends in mobile advertising.
In order to determine what role mobile will play in a media mix, you should first understand the marketer’s advertising goals. For example, is their objective to increase brand favorability, launch a new product, increase direct response or begin a customer retention initiative? Once you know the answer to this question, the route to take with mobile becomes much clearer.
When creating a mobile campaign it is important to remember that there are multiple channels for reaching mobile eyeballs. They include display advertising on mobile websites and downloadable applications (apps), mobile messaging, and a host of others including video and audio ads, mobile search, and branded applications, all of which can be used individually or as a unified campaign across not just these mobile channels but across traditional channels to create a complete 360° campaign.
The IAB generally refers to “mobile” as encompassing media on feature phones, smartphones, and tablets, as well as eReaders and portable gaming devices. While smartphone and tablet advertising have much in common (and the other device categories present interesting opportunities), for the purposes of this buyers guide, we have limited our scope to the handset end of the market (i.e., smartphones and feature phones). Buyers interested in tablets should look to the IAB’s Tablet Advertising Buyers Guide.