Monday, October 18

Is that a CTR in your pocket, Or are you just glad we noticed you?

Rhythm -- the self-reported largest mobile video ad network -- recently published an overview of mobile advertising metrics (download here).

It contains comparisons between types of mobile ad units, including user response across Apple devices and Android phones. These are basic benchmarks, but useful as mobile advertising moves beyond static banners into rich media and video. Of course, you would expect charts from a mobile video ad network to portray mobile video positively...

A sign that we may be headed down the same beaten path of misguided metrics is Mediapost's article, which focuses on the most irrelevant part of the study = Clickthrough Rates. The last thing we need to burden Mobile Advertising with are the scarlet letters C--T--R. Of course CTR is high (at least compared to its old, sickly online relatives). It's a new advertising medium and benefits from limited ad exposure. People are bound to click on them out of sheer curiosity.

CTRs are always high in the early days of a new interactive ad channel. Guess what, it's nowhere but down from here. CTRs naturally decline over time, leading marketers to pine for the days when they delivered results on the left side of the decimal point. Focusing attention on them now does nothing but set Mobile up for disappointment in the long run.

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