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Mobile measures up to the marketing world

Paul Berney, CMO and MD for EMEA, Mobile Marketing Association

The proliferation of internet-enabled mobile devices like smartphones and tablets has brought about a paradigm shift within marketing and advertising. With good reason, brands are increasingly looking to the targeting power of mobile as a new and innovative way to achieve cut-through in a noisy, cluttered marketplace and communicate directly with consumers. Mobile web advertising is one element of this, representing a creative and cost effective way for brands to reach consumers whenever and wherever they are. Advertisers can already track the delivery of ads within mobile websites and count ad impressions and have pushed for further measurement capabilities to provide them with the assurance that their advertising messages are reaching their target mobile consumers in sufficient numbers. Evidently it is an area in which increased effort is needed to help marketers to effectively allocate budget to mobile.

With this in mind the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) launched the Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines in March 2011. These guidelines are the result of year long collaboration between the MMA and other key members of the mobile web ecosystem representing other trade bodies, handset manufacturers, operators, ad servers, content providers agencies, brands and technology enablers. The launch represents a milestone in the history of mobile web advertising as it is the first time standardised key metrics for measuring advertisements have been established for the mobile interactive industry.  Initially the Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines have been designed for use in the American market however; they have a global resonance and will be rolled out to new markets in the coming months.

The Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines have been designed to provide a framework to govern how ad impressions are counted on the mobile Web, helping to eliminate a huge barrier to entry for advertisers, opening the market for new entrants and increasing the potential for creativity and innovation. 

From a creative standpoint, incorporating a mobile execution into an advertising campaign is relatively easy and cost effective, especially if the execution is static, for example a banner or skyscraper. But if a brand wants to create something more interactive utilising multimedia, there are specialist agencies that can design and produce these types of assets.  Although there are costs associated with the creation and distribution of this type of digital content, they are incomparable with the costs associated with traditional media production and booking.

When creating the initial mobile web advertising campaign, marketers should ensure:

  • Their campaign is contextually relevant. This means offering content to users based on their needs, interests, purchasing preferences, time of day and location.  Making mobile content contextually relevant to consumers is vital when it comes to mobile marketing and advertising. Tailoring advertising or digital content to the consumer in this way will contribute vastly to the success rate of the campaign.  


  • The creative is designed to suit the mediums and platform. The spate of affordable handsets and mobile tablets from manufacturers coming to market has extended the potential reach of mobile web advertising. However the increased number of devices also means fragmentation of mobile operating systems, so brands must ensure their assets are compatible with as many operating systems and platforms as possible.


  • Properly maintaining assets and ensuring content is updated regularly and relevant for consumers. Having such enormous amounts of information can be both a enlightening and frustrating experience for many consumers. If the user experience is smooth and they access the right content at the right time with no broken links or mishaps then this will be conducive to a rich, engaging and long-term consumer/ brand dialogue.


By using the common methodology outlined in the Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines, brands and agencies can implement key metrics to define the mobile web ad impressions, giving them greater clarity and certainty (via the auditing process) around buying mobile web ads. Adherence to the guidelines will also help to reduce discrepancies between methods of evaluation, spurring the industry’s growth by offering Internet publishers and ad servers a consistent, rigorous way to count the delivery of ad impressions.


Brands should take the Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines into account at the planning phase of the mobile web advertising campaign as adherence to the recommendations set out within the guidelines will benefit both the individual brand and the mobile marketing industry on a long term basis.


It’s impossible to predict the future. However, one thing is certain in the advertising industry: The mobile web is becoming a significant channel for brands, marketers and agencies as they seek to use budget effectively and efficiently. The introduction of these guidelines demonstrates the mobile industry’s commitment to its marketing partners to create a transparent and consistent business environment for buying and selling ads. Hopefully, they will further encourage brands and their agencies to devote resources towards marketing campaigns that are unique to the mobile web, reaching customers at critical times in the purchase cycle, enhancing brand relationships and providing critical information only available with mobile.

To view the complete the Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines please visit: