According to recent research, display ad spending for mobile is predicted to be equal to display ad spending for desktop this year. In addition, mobile ads are expected to make up three-quarters of all digital ads by 2019.

With mobile becoming the format of choice, it would stand to reason that the user experience would be stellar. Not so, says a recent survey from Forrester Research. In a nutshell, the survey concluded that advertisers are still trying to figure out which formats are effective.

“Publishers are trying to figure out how to monetize this huge influx of mobile traffic. Advertisers are scrambling to reach mobile audiences with effective ad formats and measure results. Both are grappling with the momentous shift of users consuming content in-app versus on the mobile web,” said Ginny Marvin, media reporter for Third Door Media and contributing writer for Marketing Land.

To get more insight into the mobile industry and its challenges with providing a good user experience, Marvin spoke with experts Rob Rasko and Joe Laszlo. Following are highlights from their discussion:

Technology challenges

With mobile being a fairly new communication vehicle, Rasko thinks it’s a good time for publishers to get back to basics and have a solid strategy before diving headfirst into mobile advertising. For example, advertisers must ensure their designs work well on all devices, not just desktop. In addition, he explains that a large majority of traffic now comes from social media; therefore, advertisers need to make sure there is a consistent user experience.

Better formats and measurements

Laszlo agreed with Rasko’s points that there is little consistency in mobile advertising currently, but states that standards will soon be emerging. He says two areas that will be affected are measurement and creative. Right now, the lack of data on what works makes it tough for advertisers to be strategic, plus creative suffers. He feels that as time goes on and more research is available, some benchmarks for ad performance will be established. He also explains that ads should be engaging and what works best on the desktop usually does not translate to the mobile device. The same is true of tracking mechanisms, like desktop viewability technology.

Renewed focus on long-term customer outcomes

Both Rasko and Laszlo agree that advertisers will need to focus on customer retention. Instead of using the quick download technique, the goal needs to be on getting customers to install apps that foster a more long-term relationship.


Marvin, Ginny. “Mobile Ad Experiences Are Often Terrible: Here’s Why There’s Hope” 5/4/2015.