Is it Groundhog Day for your campaign, again?

Rob Blake, GM EMEA at PocketMath, explains how trying something different can give your campaign the lifeblood – and results – it needs

In advertising, it’s easy to stick to what you know. With 82% of marketers executing mobile adverts programmatically, the tendency is to stick faithfully to the smartphone advert, no matter what the campaign. As a result, the landscape smartphone advert (480x320) is by far the most popular format, accounting for 50% of all mobile programmatic advertising.

In theory, this is a safe bet you’d be hard-pressed to think of a friend or colleague who doesn’t own a smartphone. However, going back to the same format is stifling creativity and could be hampering your campaign results.

Despite its popularity among advertisers and the huge audiences that smartphone adverts reach, the full screen smartphone advert simply isn’t as effective at driving clicks as other sizes. Smartphones are predominantly used on-the-go, with one eye on the pavement or while juggling other tasks, while other devices such as the tablet serve a more considered or recreational purpose. Targeting B2B buyers when they are free from distraction can be far more effective than competing with the multifarious tasks they are tackling daily. Relying on smartphone adverts alone is unlikely to achieve the best possible result.

PocketMath’s latest research suggests that the landscape full screen tablet advert (1024x768) is the most effective at engaging with audiences and driving those all-important clicks. In fact, it is twice as effective as the smartphone, achieving an impressive 8.4% click-through rate. And yet, just 4% of mobile programmatic advertising campaigns in 2015 used this size creative.

Of course, advertising via a tablet also unlocks new potential for messaging and creativity – forecast to be a key battleground in digital advertising in 2016 for B2B and B2C brands. From the simple physics of a larger screen allowing more room for your message, to the less hectic environment in which tablets are predominantly used, campaigns targeting tablets are proven to engage with audiences in a completely different way. This is particularly exciting for B2B marketers trying to convey a complex proposition in an instant.

What does this mean for advertisers? Should campaigns always shun the smartphone in favour of the more successful tablet format? Absolutely not. Mobile programmatic is anything but a single-platform game and successful campaigns require a more holistic approach. What it means instead is that advertisers need to broaden their horizons, using an assortment of different devices and sizes to fully enhance their campaigns and get the results they deserve.

The real lesson here is to embrace creative variety. An advertiser consistently using the same format will only yield certain results. The holy trinity of experimenting with the way you deliver your message, testing multiple formats and devices in real-time to see what delivers the best results, and then optimising your campaign in real-time, will ensure you’re reaching the right audiences and receiving the best engagement with your campaign.

As audiences continue to flock to new mobile devices – be it a smartphone or a wearable device – and advertising exchanges follow, a more strategic approach to campaign planning that targets a range of devices can help to elevate results. Say goodbye to Groundhog Day – experimenting with ad formats can give your campaign the boost it needs.