You Don’t Need “An App For That”

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2010 has been a breakout year for mobile advertising, and here at Myxer we have been very fortunate to be a big part of that. We’ve had the opportunity to work with dozens of top brands, assisting them in the development of both effective, and fun, ad campaigns aimed at reaching their target audiences in a range of creative ways.

As we speak with advertisers on a regular basis, one of the things we discover is that they often feel the need to either build their own mobile application, or to buy advertising space within another mobile app, in order to offer users rich experiences on mobile. With all of the press and noise around the rise of apps and app stores, mostly fueled by the marketing machines of the various smart phone platform players, it’s understandable that apps may seem like the only route for advertisers and agencies that really want to succeed at engaging users in increasingly more imaginative and entertaining ways on all the latest touch-screen devices.

The reality is that there is often a much faster, easier, and more cost-effective way to execute great campaigns targeted at mobile users and brand loyalists, alike — and that’s by combining rich media creatives with the cross-platform reach of the mobile web. Many advertisers simply aren’t aware of all the possibilities inherent in rich media mobile advertising today. Features such as video, full-screen expandable and interactive units, social site integration, product browsing, game play, and even interfacing with native device services like maps and calendars can all be achieved from within rich media units that can run across a wide range of devices, within any browser that supports HTML 5 and JavaScript.

Companies like Crisp Wireless and Phluant Mobile, among others, are truly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible within these units, and are able to deliver many of them across iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Palm devices. Additionally, we’re now beginning to see some of these capabilities reach into the world of feature phones, which are still owned by roughly 75% of mobile subscribers.

When you consider some of the most important criteria for advertisers today, there are four that are generally at or near the top of the list:

• Reach
• Cost-effectiveness
• Ability to target the desired audience
• Time to market

In this context, rich media ads that run across a wide variety of devices on a broad-reaching mobile web property are emerging as a superior solution to the development of native apps or in-app ad campaigns. As the diversity of web-enabled devices and platforms continues to grow, so will the adoption of HTML 5, JavaScript, and other standards-based technologies, increasing reach and competition, as well as lowering costs.

At Myxer we’ve helped several advertisers launch rich media campaigns this year in a matter of days, using extremely engaging rich media units across our mobile web site, which saw over 11 million unique visitors in the month of September. These brands have saved countless hours and dollars not having to deal with deciding which app platforms to target, not having to endure long creative lead times, and not having to worry about having enough reach against the audience they are trying to find.

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