Who Will Lead The Charge Toward Tablet Optimization?

Written on
Sep 3, 2013 
Dan Meehan  |

ADOTAS — As the digital media and advertising marketplace continues to evolve, tablet and mobile media have taken center stage.  It’s no secret that consumer behavior typically drives the media industry.  Media consumption from tablet devices continues to explode, mostly at the expense of desktop/PC time spent.  Much has been made about the gap between consumer time spent with online and mobile, and the gap in media spent in those categories.

Interestingly enough, time spent doesn’t always correlate to advertising results.  Positive add message recall is part of the holy grail for brand advertising, and studies prove ad recall results by media type doesn’t necessarily compare to the amount of time consumer’s spent on those media types.

According to a study in the Admap Journal of Advertising, in the US, recall of ads tracked by media: TV scored 72%, Internet 14%, and magazines 38%.  Clearly, that doesn’t follow metrics for consumer time spent with that media type.  Just because consumers spend time with a media doesn’t mean the recall of brand advertising works in that media.

As it pertains to tablet media & ad recall, we must talk about the movement in digital to Viewable Ad Impressions.  In digital,an unbelievable 31% of display ads are never seen by their audience, according to a 2012 study by comScore.  The IAB’s viewable standard is that advertisers are only charged for impressions that are on screen for at least one second.  No wonder “desktop” digital CPMs are decreasing every year for publishers, and advertisers are seeing less than 0.10% CTR.

So let’s talk about why we think tablet-optimized mobile websites present a game-changing opportunity for the digital media industry; for publishers and advertisers alike.  For publishers who wish to create touch-optimized versions of their mobile web sites, there exists numerous vendor options that have launched to serve this market niche. On an optimized mobile web site, typically all content is touch-enabled and above the fold as consumers touch and swipe to engage with it.  This results in 100% Ad Viewable Impressions.  Every ad impression is above the fold and resulting from a consumer engagement with the tablet content.

How does this affect advertisers?  In many cases, advertisers can average average CTR between 2-4% when investing in mobile web sites that have an optimized version.  This represents a 20x-30x lift versus average CTR on desktop.  So clearly above the fold, touch-enabled tablet advertising units work for marketers.

Yet many major brands and their advertising agencies are hesitant to release large tablet-specific advertising budgets.  One obstacle holding those budgets back is certainly scale.  So as consumers demand better user experiences on tablets, savvy publishers will adopt tablet-optimized versions of their sites, leading to more and more optimized tablet ad inventory for advertisers.

This adoption of tablet device-specific publishing (aka “optimization”) is only a matter of time. After all, consumer behavior typically drives the media industry.  The only question is; how fast will publishers get tablet-optimized and what brand advertisers will lead the industry into this unbelievably effective ad media?  As a marketing and/or ad agency professional, ask yourself: Why am I not at least testing tablet optimized advertising when all the data points to its effectiveness?


Daniel Meehan
Fearless leader, founder and CEOPadSquad

A serial business builder, change agent and entrepreneur, Dan’s media industry experience spans from old school business and consumer publishing all the way through today’s digital media ecosystem.  Prior to founding PadSquad, Dan was the Founder and CEO ofHaven Home Media, LLC, the first-ever vertical content network in the Home & Garden category, which he sold to Reader’s Digest Association in 2011.  After the acquisition of Haven Home, Dan stayed on as Vice President, Integrated Solutions & Digital Development for Reader’s Digest Association, where he led the integration of Haven Home with The Family Handyman, managed strategy, development, and corporate sales across brands like AllRecipes.com,Taste of HomeEveryday with Rachael Ray andReader’s Digest.

Dan’s first foray into starting a business was in 2003 when he founded Momentum Publishing Partners, an independent advertising sales firm. Earlier in his career, Dan led revenue, strategy and business development for Scripps Networks Interactive where he was the Director of National Advertising Sales, responsible for digital and convergent television sales across assets includingHGTVProDIY Network, andHGTV.

Dan earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Saint Joseph’s University.  In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three boys near Princeton, NJ, coaching sports, and trying to sneak in some golf and surfing.

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