Archive for Scott Swanson

4 seasonal trends in mobile

Posted by Scott Swanson on July 29th, 2013 at 6:00 pm

For many advertisers, "seasonality" means one thing: the holidays. Sure, there are other calendar events that are well-suited to campaigns for particular brands, like March Madness and Back to School. But for many, it all comes down to one thing -- the slow but steady rise into the winter holiday season, with purchases peaking in December and then falling steeply into January, into what is generally the most down period of the year for advertising.
If we take a look at mobile phone use patterns (here seen by monthly impressions), however, it becomes apparent that there are lots of mini-surges and dips throughout the calendar year. Our parent company, Opera Mediaworks, compared the first half of 2012 to that of 2013 and found a clear pattern, and we can speculate that the second half of 2013 might follow a similar pattern.
The biggest surge we can see on the chart is during Spring Break season. Beginning in March and lasting well into April, consumers are using their phones almost as much as they are in the pre-holiday November period. What a great time to run some spring season campaigns. Auto advertisers, for instance, might take advantage of all those mobile impressions to promote... Read more

Apple vs. Samsung – should advertisers care?

Posted by Scott Swanson on July 25th, 2013 at 9:00 am

While the advertising community may be looking on in benign amusement as Samsung, Apple and Microsoft try to downgrade each other's products (oh sorry, product experience), we start to wonder:
Should mobile advertisers really care about who wins?
Absolutely. Here's why: Different types of features introduced on new smartphones very much influence how people use their phones and how they engage -- or don't engage -- with mobile advertising.
One of the observations that we've noted is that while rich media ads tend to get more engagement from iPhone users, users on Android devices tend to convert at higher rates.
These particularities are due in part to demographic differences among iPhone and Android users, but also in the way they use their devices, which is very much dictated by the feature set of the phone.
Samsung Galaxy s4 vs. the iPhone 5
For instance, when the Samsung Galaxy S4 came out, Ad Age speculated that the bigger screen, a possible native digital wallet app (like iPhone's Passbook), a better camera and eye-tracking interface for screen navigation would mean exciting new options for mobile marketers. They also hoped for a GPS-based feature that would help advertisers geo-target consumers as they physically approach retail locations.
Samsung didn't deliver all of... Read more

Rich media, in-app mobile ads get 1.53% CTR

Posted by Scott Swanson on July 23rd, 2013 at 8:30 am

This week our parent company, Opera Mediaworks, released its Q2 State of Mobile Advertising report. In it, they took a sampling of 378 mobile ad campaigns running in the US during the month of May, each with over one million impressions.
Some of the findings:
Rich media mobile ad campaigns perform far better than standard banner ads, sometimes by as much as 400%.
Those served within apps perform better than those on the mobile web: 1.53% CTR vs. 1.12% CTR.
In-app ads perform 1.7X better than mobile web, but advertisers are still using mobile web more, with about a 3:2 ratio for campaigns running in-app vs. those on the mobile web.
Advertisers of Apparel, Food, Games and Sports had the highest impression volume and number of campaigns. However, Travel, Entertainment, Automotive and Mobile Content (e.g., ringtones) advertisers had the top performing campaigns of the month.

Here's why Pandora is killing it in mobile

Posted by Scott Swanson on April 23rd, 2013 at 6:00 am

Pandora made more than $229 million from mobile display ads in 2012, according to an IDC study that came out last week — on par with Facebook ($234M), and double that of Twitter, which netted $117 million.
That's a pretty penny from a medium that until late last year, marketers will still unsure about.
Let's timehop back to August 2012. In an article entitled, "Why is Pandora not making more money in mobile?" Mobile Marketer cites several reasons why the music-streaming service was struggling, including smaller screens that don't allow for large-format, high-impact ad formats.
At that point, most ads were in the form of small banners, and video hadn't really come onto the scene yet. "The mobile advertising market is still in the early stages," they wrote, and is not keeping up with Pandora's mobile use.
Fast forward to today. Mobile traffic in the Music, Video and Media category (Pandora among others) continues to soar, and has consistently been #1 in terms of impression volume on our Opera Mediaworks mobile advertising platform.

However, as you can see here in the Q1 2013 State of Mobile Advertising report, revenue has definitely caught up with impressions.
About 18% of all revenue is generated by mobile sites and apps that serve... Read more

Even basic mobile targeting beats desktop any day

Posted by Scott Swanson on April 17th, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Every day, you hear about how mobile publishers and ad networks are adding new, enhanced targeting capabilities to their suite of services. And that's great news -- better targeting in mobile is a key factor in increasing the effectiveness of campaigns.
But what many buyers tend to forget is that even basic targeting in mobile, using the kind of contextual information you can easily acquire from the most standard of mobile traffic, is still far better than the PC equivalent.
Let's take a quick look at the most basic of them all: device type (OS) and connection type (e.g., mobile vs. Wi-Fi). Knowing what kind of mobile device a user possesses and where they are using it (on the go vs. at home/work) is far more valuable than identifying what kind of PC or browser someone is using, and who provides their Internet service. I don't know about you, but I don't identify myself as by my ISP. iPhone user? Yes. Constantly on the go? Yes. Comcast customer? Not so much.
More importantly, advertisers are finding that simple additions to these first two criteria, such as time of day, day of week, or a carefully chosen frequency-capping regime, provides even deeper improvement of... Read more