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Aidan Hiljeh

Advertising Strategies: Optimizing Ad Visibility to Increase Sales

Feb 10 2012, 07:22 PM by

The online display ad game is on a comeback trail and the industry has mobile to thank for its growth. According to estimates from eMarketer, spending on mobile display ads in the U.S. hit $1.45 billion last year. That’s up 89% from the number in 2010. The firm predicts that spending will increase by another 80% this year. Between Google’s attractive advertising options and the wide array of devices and networks, advertisers have more opportunities than ever before in the mobile arena. However, there is evidence suggesting that not all of them are getting their money’s worth.

A recent research effort from comScore showed that 69% of ad impressions were classified as being “in-view” of the user. The other 31% were not seen by the user, despite being successfully delivered. This may be due to the user scrolling past or never bringing the ad into view on their device. Overall, the study found that advertisements considered to be in view of the user varied significantly, ranging from 7% to 91% among different sites.

The findings of comScore were based on data derived from the company’s Validate Campaigns Essentials platform, which it used to analyze 1.7 billion impressions, for 3,000 ad placements, on 381,000 domains. Some of the brands to have their sites analyzed included Chrysler, Ford, General Mills, Kimberly Clark and Sprint. comScore’s research initiative revealed that while today’s advertisers generally have plenty of real estate to work with, some areas are more optimal than others as far as visibility is concerned. Different research hints that certain types of users may be more likely to respond to those ads than others.
Tablet Users Big Spenders?
A study conducted by computer software specialist Adobe Systems revealed that tablet users spent an average of $123 on purchases in 2011. This is 54% more than what smartphone users are spending. According to the company’s research, the fast growing segment of tablet-toting users prompted a small but notable jump in activity on retail sites, increasing the number of visits from 1% to 4% from January 2011 to December 2011. For brands, these insights could be a sign to think beyond mobile with their advertising strategy, and more specifically, start optimizing for tablets.

So far, it looks like experts have boiled the increased spending among tablet users down to two reasons:
  1. Tablets are predominantly used by a more affluent audience of consumers.
  2. Tablets are more conducive to the shopping experience.
To the first point, Apple has certainly done a fantastic job of making its product appeal to the upper echelon of gadget geeks. Despite a hefty price tag being attached to both the 16 and 64-gig version of the iPad, the company has been able to ensure that its tablet remains a hot seller. As far the competition goes, the iPad is ruling them all with an iron fist. According to the latest data from Strategy Analytics, Apple’s device still owns nearly 60% of the market.

As far as being a great companion for shopping - that’s just obvious, especially when compared to conducting the same activity on a smartphone. Although companies like Google and PayPal are pushing to make shopping on mobile devices as common as shopping from a conventional computer, we still have a ways to go before this becomes the norm. As it stands now, making purchases from a tablet is as close as it gets.

Be it through paid or earned media, consistently appealing to your target audience is a challenging endeavor. It can really be tough in the digital era where consumers are interchanging between such a wide variety of devices. While the market data you encounter may appear to suggest that you should lean one way or another, it is becoming clearer to see that the best approach is trying to get your advertisements, emails and other content to work as near flawlessly as possible across all mediums.

Posted in Tips & Resources, Tech Editorial

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