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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : January 31, 2011

Could clumsy clicks mean mobile ad model rethink?

Earlier this month I posed the question "Are accidental clicks inflating mobile in-game ad success?". New research from Harris Interactive and Pontiflex appears to have answered that question.

by Helen Leggatt

Pontiflex_180.gifAngry Birds is one of mobile in-game advertising's success stories. The ad-supported version of the game is reportedly bringing in $1million each month. No wonder advertisers are being seduced.

But mobile users have been quick to point out that many of their ad clicks were accidental - particularly when playing games during which ads appear in awkward places, close to finger-tapping action.

A recent survey by Harris and Pontiflex, involving about 4,000 mobile users, has put some figures against the 'finger faux-pas' debate. It found nearly half of users (47%) admitted to accidentally clicking on ads in mobile games and apps.

Maybe it's older folk with less nimble digits that are clicking ads by mistake? No, apparently not - over half (61%) of 18-34 year olds, the biggest users of apps, admitted clicking in error.

Most app advertisements, when clicked, redirect the user through an external web browser. However, the survey found nearly three-quarters (71%) of mobile app users prefer ads that keep them within the app they are using, instead of ads that take them out of the app to a mobile web browser.

These findings show a massive downside to in-game and app advertising for mobile marketers - the cost-per-click model is cumbersome and annoying to users, and a large proportion of ad spend is wasted.

"Clicks aren't an effective way of measuring mobile ad campaigns and these survey findings prove it," said Zephrin Lasker, co-founder and CEO, Pontiflex, who favors a cost-per-lead ad model.

"First, by taking the user out of the app to a clunky browser, clicks make for a disruptive experience. Second, the fact that most people say they click on ads by mistake more often than they do on purpose is particularly striking. If you are a mobile marketer, why would you run a cost-per-click campaign?"

Tags: advertising, mobile ads, mobile marketing

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