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The five misconceptions about mobile advertising

As part of The Drum MOMA Awards programme we hear from Chris Childs, Managing Director, UK, TabMo.

Despite smartphones populating every aspect of modern life, there is still a certain amount of doubt as to their effectiveness as an advertising channel.

At TabMo, we see first-hand the power of mobile video advertising. The following is our checklist to dispel the myths that have yet to become history.

1. There is a lack of high-quality inventory

Early adopters of mobile advertising were limited in where their ad could appear. But as more and more publishers adopt a mobile-first content strategy, whether that is ensuring their site is set up to be viewed on a mobile or encouraging readers to access content via an app, this is becoming a distant memory and the choice of quality inventory is expanding rapidly.

This is helped by users spending more time on their mobiles and consuming ever more varied content (music clips, articles, photos, etc), which opens further opportunities, and increases the amount of high quality inventory available.

Advertisers also need to play their part by using private marketplaces, walled gardens and apps to ensure their ad appears on safe, brand-appropriate sites.

2. Measurement is not robust

Robust measurement requires robust campaigns. Advertisers need to invest significant amounts in mobile advertising, rather than regard it as an ‘add-on’ or a channel to be tested (with budgets limited to match). Cross-screen campaigns can only be effective if each constituent element has been tested and measured first on a like-for-like basis in order to determine the best mix for that particular brand or product.

3. Mobile does not drive sales

As the screen size of mobiles increases, consumers are increasingly using them for online shopping, and the figures bear this out. The IMRG Capgemini eRetail Index revealed that online sales grew by 11% in March 2016 as smartphone transactions doubled. Conversion rates were 50% higher for the first quarter of 2016 than for 2015 and average online transaction values reached a record high of £85 during March.

4. Small screen limits

The smaller size of a smartphone screen is irrelevant because mobile is such a personal channel. This provides the opportunity to have 100% of the viewer’s attention, with the potential to target them with an ad that is highly relevant. Users are fully engaged with their phones, giving advertisers the chance to achieve the objective of having a two-way conversation. That said, it’s important to get the creative right, ensuring that the ad fits the mobile screen for example, which, unlike a PC or TV, is usually viewed as portrait rather than landscape.

5. Mobile advertising is intrusive

The personal nature of mobile does increases the risk that anything interrupting the user unnecessarily will be unwelcome. But badly-targeted ads, or those placed within irrelevant content, are intrusive whether they are on mobile, desktop or TV. And while the risk is higher, as referenced above, the personal nature of mobile also means that it offers unprecedented opportunities. Successful advertisers target carefully, as well as pay attention to the context in which the mobile is being used, and this is paying off. In recent research by Yahoo people reported that they actively welcomed engagement from brands when they were shopping, travelling and, in particular, relaxing.

TabMo are a sponsor of The Drum MOMA Awards more details and the full list of 2016 winners can be found here at and at


Twitter: @TabMo

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