What is Mobile Advertising?

Mobile advertising is any form of advertising that appears on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets using wireless connections. Companies advertise through text ads via SMS or through banner advertisements that appear embedded on a mobile web site.

Mobile advertising is the use of mobile devices to send marketing messages to consumers. Generally, this is done by marketers looking for the best places to advertise inside of SMS messages, banner ads on mobile websites, or by placing an ad in a mobile application such as a news app or game.

Mobile advertising refers to ads and ad campaigns expressly designed for mobile devices. In this context, “Mobile devices” include smartphones, tablets, or wearable devices. Mobile ads can appear within apps, on websites viewed from mobile devices, or on social media platforms viewed through mobile devices.


There are several advantages to mobile advertising, including:

Increased Time Spent On Mobile Devices by Consumers

According to the World Advertising Research Center, two billion people already access the internet via only their smartphone. That’s the equivalent of 51 percent of all mobile users worldwide. In just six short years, 72% of all internet users will access the internet exclusively via mobile devices.

Mobile Advertising Reach a Broader Market

Internet traffic via mobile devices exceeds traffic via desktop devices, and that’s been true for several years.

Mobile Advertising is a Better Buy

Phone-based CPCs cost 24% less than desktop clicks. Phone-based ads have a 40% higher CTR. And don’t say mobile users don’t make purchases: 35% of mobile and tablet shoppers buy products at least once a week, compared to only 15% of desktop users.

Geotargeting Capabilities

Mobile also enables location marketing in a way that desktops can’t match. And, because consumers have their mobile devices with them more often than they are with their desktops, advertisers have more opportunities to reach them.


Mobile ads come in many flavors, including:

In-app advertising

It’s impossible to talk about mobile use without talking about apps. And so, if you’re going to test mobile advertising, you owe it to yourself to test app advertising. After all, it’s not like there’s a shortage of apps. If you can pick the right apps and show the right creative, in-app advertising can work really, really well.

Mobile video advertising

Mobile videos work– if you can develop enough creative and test it fast enough before ad creative starts to fatigue.

Location-based advertising

Mobile users have their devices with them almost all the time. That opens up a world of opportunities if you’ve got a local business or a business with brick and mortar locations.

Banner advertising

Yes, even the much-maligned banner ad has a place in mobile advertising. There’s plenty of inventory for mobile banner ads, and so if you can cherry-pick where these ads appear and pair that with great creative, mobile banner ads can work.


These are just like the pop-ups (aka “overlays”) you’ve been seeing on webpages for years. They’re just smaller and designed for mobile screens.

Native ads

Native ads are published either in social media feeds or on websites. They’re called “native” because they look like the content surrounding them. Native ads must use high-quality content. They also tend to “soft sell” advertisers’ products, if they overtly mention them at all.

Voice ads

Voice search is not just coming – it’s here. And while paid voice search hasn’t really taken hold yet, it won’t take long.

Don’t overlook mobile advertising channels, either. Almost all of the types of mobile advertising mentioned above can run on social media, display ad networks, search ads, and even Amazon ads.

So if you’ve tried just one channel or mobile ad format and it didn’t work, keep testing.

Planning a Mobile Advertising Campaign

Mobile advertising campaigns work much like any other advertising campaign, with a few key differences.

Know your audience.

Mobile interfaces may be simplified compared to desktops, but they’ve got just as many (if not more) distractions. If you want your message to get through all the noise, you’ll need to know what type of messaging will appeal to your ideal users. You’ll also need to know which channels and publishers your ideal users flock to.

Find out which channels and ad formats fit your budget.

Don’t blow your budget on a display ad on The New York Times if a few in-app ads will work.

Develop great creative. A lot of it.

You’re going to need to test creative, and the offers the creative describe. And get ready to test a lot of it. We’ve found that only about one in twenty ads really takes off. That means you’ll need 20 pieces of creative to find a real winner.

Get your tracking and reporting dialed in.

Data-driven marketers love mobile advertising. It’s a blend of art and science, with the art driving the creative development and the science requiring a lot of number crunching. While it’s rare to find someone who can manage both aspects, we have tools that can make up for any shortcomings in your teams’ skillset.

Examples of Mobile Advertising

It’s not hard to find examples of mobile advertising. Just pick up your phone and start clicking around. You’ll see mobile ads pretty much everywhere you go – whether that’s on your favorite websites, in your favorite apps, on social media or in the search results. Mobile ads are almost infinitely flexible, which is part of why they work so well.

Mobile advertising is the process of using Internet-enabled mobile devices to deliver an advertisement in a form that resembles text messages, pictures, video, and audio content; the intention is to lure people with SMS message ads into your business.
Today more and more people are accessing the internet on their smartphones or tablets making it a phenomenal opportunity for advertisers to reach these consumers. Mobile advertising can also be classified as an offline form of multimedia publishing. The most popular forms of mobile advertising are SMS advertising, Short message service (SMS), MMS Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), and WAP Browser (Wireless Application Protocol).