Do Mobile Banners Deliver ROI?

According to statistics released by MediaMind, banners that appear on mobile devices average a click through rate that is 8 times as high as banners that appear on a desktop Internet device.

Does this automatically mean you should ditch the standard banners and sink your budget in mobile banners? This article takes a look at what is happening in the world of mobile advertising and questions whether the high click-through rate achieved by mobile banners is really delivering the goods.

The Statistics

According to MediaMind the average CTR rate on mobile banners that were published on their site was 0.61% and eMarketer predict that by 2012 mobile display spending will rise to the tune of $334.5 billion USD. So we should all rush out and invest our advertising bucks in mobile display ads, right?

Not necessarily. A high CTR doesn’t guarantee conversions and, if research by mobile analytics company Amethon is to be believed, visitors who turn up at your site via mobile banner ads may just leave as quickly as they arrived.

Amethon’s research, as published in a recent eMarketer article, was based on an analysis of the traffic that visited the websites of companies that had engaged in an active mobile marketing campaign. Here’s what they discovered:

  • Mobile banner clicks yield high bounce rates: 33% of customers who arrive on a site via a mobile advertisement do not progress beyond the first page.
  • Customers that do stay, don’t stay for long: the average page views of customers who arrive via a mobile banner ad is just 1.53. The best performing sites average 3.00 pages.

The truth is that the reputation that mobile advertising is enjoying is quite simply unfounded; at present we just don’t know what really happens once a visitor has clicked on the brightly colored banner. James Clearly, CTO of Amethon described how marketers should react to this quite nicely in a recent press release:

“We believe that in order to leverage the potential of mobile advertising, brands and their providers can gain much from understanding behavior once a consumer lands on the microsite. This helps them focus on tangible campaign goals like competitions entry, content download and viewing key pages, rather than only click-throughs. The key differences between Mobile Analytics and traditional web analytics solutions include optimized measurement of mobile web activity, ability to track inbound campaign sources such as SMS and banner ads, and measure key conversion events such as a ring tone or video downloads.”

What We Think

Mobile banner advertising, with its high click through rates and ever-expanding reach is undoubtedly a great means of supporting any display campaign. However, it is important to understand what impact these clicks are having on their business and to what extent they are leading to real conversions before diving head-long into an expensive banner advertising campaign.

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