ROI·DNA Reads: The Art and Science of Mobile Ad Platforms

April 16, 2014
Times Square

Bottom Line:

A recent piece in Marketing Land by John Cosley, responsible for Microsoft Search
Advertising’s global brand marketing and communications activities, highlighted the difference in customer engagement across various mobile platforms. It’s no secret that mobile usage is skyrocketing and marketers have to get placements on smartphones and tablets — the question is how to be strategic about which ones.

Cosley’s research found that iPhones typically have the most engaged users, while Androids have the least. Windows Phone 8 had a “high share” of good clickers. But the story doesn’t end there. Advertisers need to understand why users are on each platform, with what intent. If being mobile means customers are on the go, often with local interests in mind, which ads target the best?

Our Take:

Cosley obviously has some bias against any non-Microsoft devices, but software vendors
looking to expand their brand should always be platform agnostic. Do not disqualify anyone.
Different platforms speak to different customers in different ways. The keys for differentiating
between the platforms are finding the right targeting tools and analytics, ease of use and knowing where your ads are placed at all times. Just remember – the more robust the network, the more you’ll have to open your checkbook.

If hands-on is your style, then Google’s AdMob is a critical network. Cosley doesn’t mention
Facebook, which isn’t quite a mobile ad network but does have great targeting tools for a hugely
engaged audience on its mobile app.

The trick is identifying what mobile customers that need your software look like on-the-go.
Intent can be gauged by the customer researching a problem, like “tax software” on April
14th. That research, not to mention how and where it occurs, helps determine
urgency and thus how to structure and place advertisements.


Test, test, test. As mobile use grows to hit 1.75 billion in 2014 (according to
eMarketer), staying nimble about what platforms target your customers remains imperative, and
so does the methodology of targeting those customers. Whichever network you choose needs
the tools to let you experiment and find the perfect placements.

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