Hey everyone. I’m Andrew Carlsen, a recent addition to the BrightWave team. A little background on myself: I managed email marketing programs at AirTran Airways and HalfOffDepot.com and have touched everything from social media to paid advertising along the way. Something caught my attention recently that I think may relate to the work we all do as digital marketers.
Anyone watching 2012 Q1 ad sales from some of the world’s biggest sellers may be seeing some interesting data. All the major ad networks seem to be reacting a little differently as mobile gains market share, and it begs the question – How will paid advertising adjust to the mobile market?
Google’s ad prices are dropping, while engagement is on the rise. CPC decreased by 12% year over year, and 6% from the last quarter, but engagement has increased 39% and 7% year over year and from the previous quarter, respectively.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s prices are increasing even as engagement dips. Engagement is down 8% from the previous quarter, and CPM impressions are up 41% year over year (don’t know CPC or CPM? Pay attention to these, they may not be email marketing, but all tie in to the same goals – customer engagement and retention).
Bing and Yahoo show similarly confusing results, with their total paid search spend growing, while their clicks dipped several percentage points. As a result, the overall picture looks something like this:
This trending data seems contradictory and confusing, but I think it points to the fact that no one is sure exactly how mobile will affect digital advertising as it continues to take on market share. Here are two factors that I think need to be addressed in order to begin making sense of it all:
Fragmentation of Screen Sizes and Devices
Traditional paid advertising placements tend to get lost on a smaller screen, and many mobile optimized sites have no ads at all. What is the next step to address that?
Smarter Targeting and Segmentation
Advertisers could be going after impulse shoppers while they’re on-the-go. They could also leverage geo-targeting for location-based ads, or a myriad of other mobile behavior-based options.
While I do not know what the answers will be, I do know one principle that yields measurable results in email marketing that would help point advertisers in the right direction: test, test, and test again.
What do you think is in store for the future of mobile advertising?