Mobile Ad Networks for Advertisers – An Introduction

by Ben Baltins. 0 Comments


The expected increase in mobile ad spend by companies worldwide is expected to grow from $3.3 billion to $20.6 billion by 2015 a recent report by Gartner has proclaimed. What’s more, this trend shouldn’t surprise any of us in our corner of the world as we’re feeling the mobile trend more than most!

 According to a study conducted last year by Google and IPSOS Research, Australia has the second highest smartphone penetration in the world and this number is experiencing growth between one and two per cent each month.

What it boils down to is that mobile as an advertising platform is growing rapidly. That, coupled with the results from an Australian independent study which states that 75 per cent of Australian smartphone users are either ‘very comfortable’ or ‘somewhat comfortable’ with mobile advertising means you should probably start thinking about your mobile ad spend.

To get you off on the right track we’ve decided to provide you with a little introduction to mobile ad networks.

What is a Mobile Ad Network and Why Use One?

Mobile ad networks allow you to get your mobile ad in front of mobile users within your demographic. Benefits of mobile ad networks include:


Mobile ad networks are basically a syndicate of mobile websites and/or apps that serve your ads i.e. you don’t have to approach each individual publisher (mSite/app developer) as ad networks represent a host of sites and apps.


Although mobile ad networks generally have a pretty large reach this also means they have a pretty good spread of publishers. This allows your ads to be highly targeted as each publisher’s audience tends to be quite refined. You’re ad has a much higher guarantee of getting in front of your target demographic than most other advertising mediums.

An ad network will also have accumulated data including page impressions and unique browsers to help further refine your mobile ad spend.


The beauty of mobile is that marketers can reach potential customers during crucial moments of the purchase lifecycle because people have and use their mobiles regardless of time and location.


Mobile provides some excellent call-to-action opportunities like click-to-call and direct revenue via mCommerce.

The interactive nature of smart devices and recent technological advancements such as HTML5 means that mobile adverts have the potential to be highly engaging with extremely strong call-to-actions. If you’re able to target your engaging creative in front of your specific demographic then you should see high CTRs and if you’ve done everything right beyond that point, conversions and acquisitions.

Not All Mobile Ad Networks are Born Equal

When it comes to choosing a specific mobile ad network you’ve really got to have your advertising goals in mind. There are four main types of mobile ad networks:


These networks tend to be the largest in terms of publishers, advertisers and impressions (i.e. reach) but don’t tend to provide a whole lot of options for targeting specific/niche websites and their audiences. These guys are great for building volume and impressions though and work well if your mobile advertising goal is to get your ads in front of as many eyes as possible to build brand awareness etc. As their name suggests, one drawback is that they won’t give you a great insight into the publishers your ads are appearing on.


These mobile ad networks still won’t show you exactly who your ads are being shown on but will guarantee that they’re premium publishers such as well-known; newspapers, broadcasters or operator portals.


These mobile ad networks have developed strong relationships with a handful of high quality, household-name type publishers. Think IMDb, Foxsports, Fairfax etc. You will often have to pay via a cost-per-impression model (e.g. CPM) which does mean you’ll want to be undertaking some pretty heavy duty campaign optimisation to ensure ROI. Premium networks often supply direct sales support and a plethora of targeting options, they also tend to be more forthcoming with essential data relevant to designing effective campaigns.. You'll have far more control over your campaign than the aforementioned networks which leads to a greater ability to refine and optimise the performance of your campaign.


Incentivised mobile ad networks require the user to perform a specified engagement action in exchange for some kind of virtual currency. TapJoy is a leading example of this kind of mobile ad network where consumers get access to a range of free apps and increased functionality within these apps as long as they perform some kind of task set by you, the advertiser.

Stay tuned for more information on selecting the right mobile ad network.

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