ADOTAS EXCLUSIVE – Driven by the overwhelming popularity, evangelism and impact of the iPhone on the mobile experience, the advertising industry has reached a turning point in 2008 – with all eyes on mobile, the opportunity is now to embrace the channel as a direct line into today’s consumer on their most personal of devices.
With brands launching new WAP sites each day, so too comes the opportunity to advertise. However not all mobile content is created equal — what looks great on one device could look markedly different on another if these considerations aren’t engrained in the development process. Consumer experiences run the gamut, with the most consistently positive experience coming from iPhone users. In fact, AT&T mobility president and CEO Ralph de la Vega came out and called Apple’s iPhone “a game-changer” at Mobile World Congress a few weeks ago, noting that since AT&T exclusively launched the device in mid-2007, mobile data consumption has grown dramatically.
According to de la Vega, 95 percent of iPhone owners regularly surf the web on a mobile device, even though 30 percent had never done so prior to iPhone ownership. In addition, nine out of 10 rated the device better than their previous handset. Quattro Wireless has seen dramatic adoption rates as well. In fact, since the launch of the iPhone, we have seen a 323 percent increase in monthly iPhone page views on the Quattro Network from September 2007 to January 2008.
These stats are phenomenal compared to general mobile Internet usage on other mobile phones in the U.S. Clearly the iPhone audience is one that should be catered to, and savvy mobile content providers and advertisers are developing iPhone-specific websites and advertisements for this built-in fan club to optimize the consumer experience and produce the greatest advertising results. In fact, there are whole companies cropping up with dedicated mobile advertising units designed just for the iPhone.
iPhone sites without adaptation can be hard to browse, despite the device’s high end browser capabilities. iPhone-adapted mobile websites such as CollegeHumor.com or Linked-in provide a better browsing experience with an optimal layout, more intuitive navigation, better display of mobile ads and a complete array of content choices for the growing iPhone audience. They also use less bandwidth, ensuring more reliable service.
Additionally, the iPhone has a readily profiled user base, thanks to its exclusive agreement with AT&T. In fact, ad networks – including Quattro Wireless – are seeing an increasing interest in ad buys that target high end handsets, and in some cases they are specifically looking for iPhone users. With all eyes on the iPhone, it is important to ensure that mobile websites designed for the iPhone include the ability to track user behavior, which in turn drives targeted premium content from the ad network. In general, an iPhone site should have the following attributes:
Easy to navigate with one finger/thumb. Content should be displayed to avoid pinching and horizontal scrolling for content.
Ads should appear targeted for the iPhone to ensure maximum impact. On a non-iPhone adapted site, ads designed for the PC/online experience will show up, but will not be targeted for the mobile environment. Ads placed on an iPhone specific site will ensure ideal placement and maximum click-throughs.
Zoom capabilities to highlight the iPhone’s superior image display.
A custom iPhone site that has embraced the above criteria is sure to elicit a warm reception from iPhone users, who have come to expect an elite experience on their specialized device. And associated advertisers will reap the benefits of brand affinity for properly entertaining and informing site visitors on this exclusive device.