Bob Garfield

Why the IAB mobile ad unit will die

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Marketers are quickly learning that display ads on mobile are creating inaccurate results. Here's why we may soon kiss the 320x50 goodbye.

iMedia traveled to ThinkLA's Mobile Breakfast in Beverly Hills to report on the state of the modern mobile landscape from some of the most influential marketers in the business. Here are just some of the insights we gleaned when we spoke to E!'s VP of business development and digital media Danny Shea about IAB display advertising on mobile.

"Fat finger taps" create horribly exaggerated CTR

The convenient size of mobile devices has created a unique problem for marketers: "fat finger taps." What are these? They're exactly what they sound like. Fat finger taps are clicks made on mobile ads (specifically the static 320x50 IAB ad unit) that are only clicked on because the thumb accidently touched it performing another action. Marketers are no stranger to an inaccurate CTR, but there's been a limit to how many clicks could potentially be accidental on desktops. On mobile, it's a madhouse. According to Goldspot Media, 50 percent of clicks on mobile ads are fat finger taps. That's an unacceptable and distressing metric. It's just one of the reasons marketers are moving away from this ad unit when crafting their mobile ad campaigns.

Rich experiences on mobile are way more successful

Marketers need a new game plan when it comes to marketing on mobile, and brands like E! have started to deliver. What are they looking toward? Rich, content-based experiences on mobile for brands. Static display ads are just not going to cut it on mobile if your goal is engagement. E! is creating content experiences for its clients that are native and actually informative. This strategy is proving more measurable and successful that a one-size-fits-all tactical approach.

iMedia's David Zaleski speaks with Danny Shea about his role at the E! brand, and why the IAB 320x50 static ad is not resonating with his team as much as more rich content-based options.