How much should I pay for mobile advertising?

27 05 2009

The answer should be: as much or as little as you want. But the reality is completely different.
I have been trying for quite a while to find mobile advertising networks, or mobile social networking sites to run one of my small campaigns targeting South Africa. By small I mean $100. I know is not much money, but I would have thought that if I had money to spend, mobile advertising companies, social networks and mobile search engines would be happy to take my money and let me try out their services.  But the minimum expenditure by campaign in some of them is so high that only the big fish can swim in those waters.

Let’s be honest, everybody says that is still early days for mobile advertising…well, no kidding! There are only a number of brands that can afford and are willing to test out a new medium like mobile for the reasonable price of $10,000. I am no fool, I know that big money comes from big companies, money calls money. But what happens to the long tail of advertisers that don’t have the big bucks but still see potential in mobile advertising? In this case, you have very few options – Google, Admob, Decktrade, Mojiva or Buzzcity (that I know)…which are great ad networks, but maybe not the only ones I would like to target.

Let’s say that I’m interested in local search and I’m a local garage that wants to target people in my city only, my only choice is to go to Google as Yahoo! would cost me a minimum of $10,000(ekk).
Let’s say I want to promote my new song from my small independent band: Nokia wouldn’t let me for less than $5,000 and Itsmy – on a more reasonable range – would charge $500 (although I want to thank them again for letting me try their services with a $100 campaign). In this same range is another mobile search engine, Taptu.

So isn’t the Mobile advertising industry interested in the long tail? Thanks to mobile analytics solutions, such as Bango Analytics, we see traffic from all over the world accessing the mobile web. We see new markets using the mobile web more and more. Small businesses with small budgets have potential customers in those markets, and guess what – they all have mobile phones.
I wonder why advertising networks that have the online back end to manage mobile campaigns don’t open their networks to smaller advertisers. And those ones that haven’t got the online platform, what are they waiting for?


If you are a mobile ad network or a mobile search engine, and have a flexible pricing model, please send us your website so we can tick you as friendly small advertiser provider.  We should create a badge for these kind of companies!!!

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Yahoo! Mobile ad services unable to connect

29 10 2008

I have been trying to test out Yahoo! mobile search advertising for a while now…

The first time I contacted them was at the end of September, I went to Yahoo!’s website and went into the advertisement options with the intention to set up a mobile search campaign. I started with the targeting options but soon I realised that in this process, I wasn’t going to be offered the possibility to set up my campaign for mobile. I went back to the website and found a UK telephone number to ring. A lady told me she couldn’t find anyone to help me at that moment, but she kindly took my phone number and told me someone would call me. That didn’t happen.

The second time I rang them was the beginning of October and this time I was given a telephone number in Barcelona (Spain). I was told that Yahoo!’s mobile division was based there. Since I’m Spanish, I rushed to call them and communicate in my mother tongue, unfortunately all I got was an answering machine. I left a message anyway, asking for somebody to call me, but that hasn’t happened yet either.

Last week I came across this url: http://mobile.yahoo.com. I went to find out if that was the place I could set up my mobile campaign on line. I pressed the Start Connecting button in the advertisers area, hoping to start my campaign straight away. Unfortunately all you can do there is fill a form showing your interest in mobile search advertising, and guess what…nobody has contacted me yet.

It has been a month and I have scoured two different websites and rang two different telephone numbers, with no results! Yahoo! is not making it easy to try their mobile search advertising program. Isn’t Yahoo! interested in the long tail advertisers?

I’m quite surprised about the long list of companies that don’t have an online sign up processes yet, especially since some smaller companies like Decktrade or Admob, let you set up a mobile advertising campaign in minutes. Companies like Yahoo! are shaping the future of mobile search and mobile advertising but are failing to provide basic information on how to get started. The least they could do is start phoning those who are eager to embrace mobile marketing.

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“Mobile advertising for newbies” campaign results in Admob Analytics

22 10 2008

Let’s have a look to the result obtained in the 3 campaigns that we ran with AdMob analytics for the white paper. To be clear, these results cannot possibly be the same as the Bango mobile analytics results as I used Admob query string in the destination URL, which means that the users from this campaigns are different than the users that clicked on the campaigns ran with Bango’s tracking links.

Decktrade Google Mo’jiva

Visits 323

Average time spent 13 sec.

Bounce rate 96%

Visits 21

Average time spent 17 sec.

Bounce rate 90.48%

Visits 127

Average time spent 3 sec

Bounce rate 98.43%

Let’s dig down in Decktrade:

The number of visits doesn’t vary that much between the 3 days of campaign, 121 visits on Wednesday, 97 on Thursday and 107 on Friday. Unique visitors are not identified in this campaign, and the number of page views is slightly higher than the number of visits, as you can see in the graphic.

The figure that worries me is the Bounce Rate, as it is very high every day. I haven’t managed to understand how this bounce rate is calculated, so I really would like someone from Admob to explain. Basically with this campaign, between 94% and 98% of users left the site straight away, which is not good news for mobislim : ( . AdMob help says it is: Single page view visits divided by the total number of visits. I need help on this one!

Let’s see now the engagement information:

312 visits of the campaign stayed on the landing page between 0-30 seconds, 3 between 31-60 seconds, 5

Lenght of visit in Admob analytics

Lenght of visit in Admob analytics

between 61-180, between 181-600 seconds and someone forgot to leave and stayed more than 600 seconds!

The depth of the visit (number of pages viewed) was mostly down to 1 page view, with 11 visits going around the site to find out more, as you can see in the graphic.

The loyalty (number of visits per user) tells me that only 2 users came more than once to the site and the visit interval (number of days since last visit) tells me that 324 visits are new.

Let’s have a look at the geo stats:

249 visits come from the US, 4 from the UK, both my target countries, and 70 visits came from a variety of countries that I wasn’t targeting. This means that 22% of my traffic didn’t come from my target countries.

Regarding operators, my most popular one was WIFI in United States with 76 visits, which means either a PC or a mobile phone getting to mobislim.wap.com through a WIFI connection in the US. I have 46 visits for unknown operators but they do say they are mobile, and another 46 from AOL. The list continues with different operators from different countries.

My top handset manufacturers were Nokia with 98 visits, Microsoft PC with 66, and Generic Windows Mobile with 45, followed by Motorola 24 and SonyEricsson 18.
What have I learnt from this results:

1.    The level of engagement is not very high but on the other hand the landing page had a clear call to action that was to download the chart, and you only need 4 seconds to read the message on the page…so maybe they just went straight away to download the chart and left the site afterwards looking for more content. We’ll try to measure conversion rates in future occasions.
2.    Targeting countries doesn’t seem to have such a great effect as 22% of my traffic came from countries I didn’t target.
3.    PC traffic is a big percentage of my traffic, I’m seriously starting to consider to expand Mobislim in to the PC world : )
4.    Generic windows mobile are 3rd in the rank, which means smartphone, I will consider this when planning my next campaign.

Let’s have a look now to Google:

The number of visits is higher on the Thursday (10) and Friday (7) than on Wednesday (4), with slightly higher number of page views on the Friday. Unique visitors are not shown for this campaign.

The level of engagement is showing me that 19 of the 21 stayed on the page between 0 and 60 seconds. In this campaign the first time interval is of 1 minute while in the Decktrade campaign was 30 seconds, I imagine the reason for this is the smaller number of visitors. The depth of visit says that 19 viewed 1-2 pages, 1 visited between 3 and 5 and 1 more than 6. All of the visits were new visits.

Let’s have a look at the geo stats. My 21 visits come from the US…hmmm, nobody looking for my keywords

Top operators from Google campaign in Admob analytics

Top operators from Google campaign in Admob analytics

in the UK? The 3 top operators are AT&T, Cricket Wireless and Sprint, and the top devices are, if I look to the manufacturer RIM, Palm and Motorola, looking the rest on the list and the models, mostly are smartphones.

My take in this Google campaign:

1.    Smartphones seem to be the kind of handsets that search the mobile internet the most.
2.    UK users don’t seem to be looking for burning calories keyword related terms on the mobile web

And to finish this post let’s have a look at Mo’jiva. The number of visits was 127 with more visits on the Thursday and the Friday. From an engagement point of

Visits recorded from the Mo'jiva campaign

Visits recorded from Mo'jiva in Admob anlaytics

view, this campaign is pretty similar to the other ones except for the average time spent that was 3 sec. This a bit too low from my point of view. Let’s see the geo stats – my top 3 countries were India (82), US (19) and Nigeria (10). My top 3 operators are Airtel Cellular India, Desktop in India and MTN Nigeria. My top 3 device manufacturers were Nokia (47) Microsoft PC (21) and Unknown (18).

What I have learnt from this campaign:

1.    I think that something must be not working well as the average time spent –  3 seconds – is quite low.
2.    2 of my top 3 countries were not on my target list, and only 19 visits came from one of my target countries. This means that only a 15% of the traffic was relevant to my campaign.
3.    PC is still a winner form Mobislim! : )

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