Graham Christie
Apr 27, 2016

Mobile hub: Native stats, a call for creativity and the cost of poor mobile UX

Download trends, native ads, video spend, creativity and poor mobile UX feature in this edition of Graham Christie's regular roundup, The Mobile Hub.

Mobile hub: Native stats, a call for creativity and the cost of poor mobile UX

Here’s a wrap up of some interesting mobile news and what’s effecting the APAC region.

Download trends and the smartphone

A study conducted by Limelight Networks called ‘The State of Digital Downloads’ across Australia, Canada, the UK and the US concludes that the smartphone has overtaken the PC as the dominant device for downloading digital content, with the tablet device coming in third. Respondents said the most downloaded types were movies, music and mobile apps. Over half of people asked said they only download movies or TV shows if they are free, and 64 percent said they download mobile apps if they’re free. The greatest propensity to pay for content was for music and games. Unsurprisingly, consumers tend to download at night.

A headline for me was a closer look at millennials as a segment. When compared to the survey base, they were more likely to download content right across the day, have less patience with download speeds, and more likely to pirate content. I guess the take-outs are, have a diversified distribution strategy, but move to a mobile-first mind-set if you haven’t already. Take a close look at shaping the CX from a download-speed (ISP) perspective. And if you’re a content owner, beef up your security.

Note that the lower the device score in the chart, the more often the device is used to download content. I know, a bit odd.


Native ads to lead mobile ad revenue by 2020

Business Insider has reported that ‘native’ will account for 63 percent of mobile display ad revenue in 2020, up from 52 percent in 2015. As a point of reference, ‘native’ accounted for 14 percent of ad revenue in 2014.  Now this is research conducted by market researcher IHS on behalf of Facebook so, eyes open people. Programmatic, or at least greater automation of buying/selling, is seen as a key ingredient that will fuel this growth. I believe native advertising is appealing on many levels, with the ability to blend page content with ad content more seamlessly, the engagement that that delivers, and yes, the ease of deployment. I do feel though, that there can be an over-dependence and spend on native-type advertising, which by its very nature offers a more homogenised version of a brand's message. Just like other mediums, a balance needs to be struck leveraging a range of opportunities that fit the decision pathway, and dialing up or down the style of impact.  

Mobile lift and, dare I say, web versus app

The Smaato network has released some figures based on its perspective of the mobile industry, and data from trading in the December quarter last year. Whilst it is quite US-centric, what’s notable is that in that market, mobile for the first time took the majority share of all digital spending (51.9 percent).

Here’s an eye-watering figure, China’s mobile ad spend grew 1,246 percent—for the quarter. Total ad spend on the mobile web is up 101 percent year-on-year, while the volume of mobile web ad impressions has also doubled. The splits overall in that network are 62 percent of impressions on apps and 38 percent on the mobile web.

From an OS point of view, globally Android accounted for 35 percent, iOS 20 percent, and Windows 5 percent, although the Apple impressions accounted for 33 percent of revenue reinforcing that that audience remains more valuable, but eCPMs on Android are narrowing the gap.

Video in China

It appears that consumers in China are less enamored with video ads than people in other markets. So says eMarketer, reporting on a study by Kantar Millward Brown, which found only 9 percent of respondents were receptive to video ads on mobile, and 10 percent on tablets. This does sync with historical distaste for video ads on desktop. However, eMarketer estimates that advertisers in China will spend $5.62 billion on digital video placements this year, up 44.6 percent over 2015. Nearly $3.1 billion in spending will go toward mobile video ads specifically.  

Sir John Hegarty says…

When one of the most awarded creative people on the planet speaks about digital, we should listen.  The co-founder of BBH said recently that “it’s time to put creativity back into the heart of advertising”, but in the same breath also acknowledged that doing so is a challenge. I agree on both points. My company has developed an offering focused on creativity, but this stance also serves to highlight a malaise effecting many people in digital marketing.

I’m not the first to say this, I know, but the obsession with technology outcomes, all too often taking precedence over other, more important considerations, I think is worsening as digital speeds up. We have all spent time and money aligning ad-tech, going a long way to solving the riddle of getting an ad to right person, at the right place, at the right time, at scale and more seamlessly. But unless we now use this expensive infrastructure to deliver great quality communications that moves people, it’s utterly meaningless. We’re marketers, not engineers.

Poor Mobile UX with funny-tragic consequences

Lastly, and on a comic note, have you seen Adobe’s new TVC for its Marketing Cloud services? 

Created by the highly awarded Goodby Silverstein & Partners, it’s the latest in a line of actually quite dark, sarcastic spots highlighting the negative effects of poor digital practices such as failing to listen to the data, and following fads. This time the focus is on mobile user experience. This should be played in every digital team’s boardroom, in my view.

Graham Christie is CEO and Partner of Big Mobile Group


Campaign Asia

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