Mobile web or mobile app
A lot of our clients only think about mobile advertising for mobile apps, but mobile websites (websites tailored for mobile devices) can be advertised on mobile ad networks as well. Most mobile ad networks allow you to advertise either mobile apps or mobile websites and enable you to set up advertising campaigns accordingly.
Tracking advertising campaigns for mobile websites on mobile ad networks can be done relatively simply since most traditional tracking methods work on smartphones such as client-based cookies and server-to-server tracking.
However, tracking advertising campaigns for mobile apps on mobile ad networks can get complicated quickly since traditional tracking methods don't work. When it comes to mobile apps, users leave their web browsers, entering into app stores and marketplaces, and once they've installed a mobile app on their device and open it, they continue to operate without a web browser. These are the tracking problems we've been solving for some of our largest clients. In the coming months you'll begin to see the growing need to quantify the value of advertising for mobile apps.
Monitoring your mobile advertising
Just like web advertising, you have to monitor the value of the traffic coming in as well as the effectiveness of your ads. Just because users are not installing your app does not mean it is the ad network's fault and vice versa. If you don't track your success and failures, you really have no way to optimize your campaigns and get the most out of every dollar.
Most of the better mobile ad networks offer some tools for tracking performance, though these are still in extremely early stages. Some networks integrate with other analytics tools like DART and Omniture (if you're at the enterprise level), and even Google Analytics can provide some insight for Android apps and mobile web. Just like picking the right ad network, finding the right analytics or tracking solution really goes back to your business goals.
Advertising on mobile isn't significantly different from other forms of online advertising, so there is no reason for hesitation. In fact, if you're already familiar with major web advertising channels and ad networks, you'll be a pro on mobile in no time. This is your chance to become a part of the fastest growing and most forward thinking advertising segment, and I strongly encourage you to jump in with both feet. The more you learn, the better your ads will be and the tighter the relationships you'll build with ad networks as they continue to grow.
Treat mobile advertising as an exciting new opportunity with no limits. Watch as new ad networks, advertising strategies, and analytics solutions spring up all around you in the next few years and get in on the ground level of something that is certainly going to be a very big deal.
Peter Hamilton is partner and CMO of HasOffers and mobileapptracking.com.
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