4 Common Mobile Advertising Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

4 Common Mobile Advertising Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

Not getting the results you want from your mobile marketing efforts?

The ever-evolving mobile advertising industry sure is a tough one in which to keep up, so rest assured that you’re not alone in your disappointment and frustration. But what if I said your mobile advertising problem isn’t the industry, but, well, you?

There, I said it. You’re doing it wrong. 

Of course, I’m not singling you out completely.

It’s hard for all marketing and advertising professionals to adjust to the constant innovations and trends in mobile ad technology. But staying on top of these advancements isn’t the only reason why your mobile ads are failing to perform well.

You (and your competitors) are likely making some pretty common mobile advertising blunders. So, why not discover how to one-up the competition by cramming your brain with some useful knowledge for once?

Before putting even more time, energy and money in your brand’s ineffective mobile ad efforts, make sure you’re avoiding these common mobile advertising mistakes, then begin implementing a smarter strategy — right now.

Mobile Advertising Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Now

1. Not Ditching Desktop Ads

I’m sorry, is this 2006 or 2016?

If you haven’t tossed away the ineffective mobile ad strategy of reformatting desktop ads to create new ads for mobile, you, my friend, are making a big advertising faux pas.

Sadly, this is a common mistake that marketers continue to make. Sure, it may look like a cheaper way to reach your mobile audience, but this mobile ad type makes your company look cheap, too (and not to mention, seriously outdated!).

Attempting to fit desktop creative onto mobile is a severely ineffective mobile ad strategy in today’s fast-paced mobile ad sector. Plus, your tech-savvy consumers expect more out of you. And in terms of advertising results, you should also expect more! Mobile-first ad formats have been a game-changer in recent years, and less likely to be blocked by mobile users.

So rethink this ancient advertising strategy, pronto.

2. Favoring Mobile Web Advertising Over In-App

Congratulations! You’ve finally decided to make your company’s website mobile-friendly. I, as well as your customers, applaud your sharp tech skills.

But here’s the deal: while you will impress and engage more consumers with a mobile website, your company’s mobile ads likely aren’t reaching anyone.

This is because many brands are making the mistake of allocating a significant portion of their marketing and advertising budgets to mobile web. With nearly 90 percent of consumers’ online mobile time being spent in-app, you have got to make sure your ads are there for them to see.

Mobile apps offer the digital marketing industry a more scalable, engaged place to reach the right customers’ eyes — and hearts. Advertisers can now use mobile apps to better understand consumer behavior, their feelings and intentions which makes for a more native, seamless experience for every unique user.

Mobile web advertising can certainly have its place depending on the needs of the campaign, but in general in-app advertising should be the primary focus — not mobile browsers.

3. Focusing on the Wrong Target Audience

Now that you’ve decided to use your mobile advertising dollars for in-app mobile ads, you want your advertisements to reach the right customers, right?

Of course you do.

Nobody likes wasting money, but you will if you don’t select the right consumers to target. Surprisingly, many companies are diving into murky waters, never having a clear indication of whether or not they are targeting the right people floating around in the massive consumer pool.

Worse yet, they aren’t looking beyond their in-house analytics experts to outside partners who can help them get the most of their in-app mobile advertising efforts.

Mobile data management platforms (DMPs) are instrumental tools that companies can use to employ programmatic technology which tracks marketing data in real-time; including user behavior, types of devices consumers use, ages, genders, incomes, purchase histories and more.

Because DMPs track these stats for you instantaneously, the technology can help your brand tell your story to the right audience, consistently — leaving you with more time for other important tasks.

With this type of constant exposure to the correct audience, your mobile ads are almost guaranteed to perform better than competitors who aren’t utilizing mobile DMPs.

4. Allowing Results Measurement to be An Afterthought

Well, isn’t that nice? Now your brand is getting more relevant clicks on mobile ads because you’ve decided to switch to a mobile DMP.

But, what’s this?

It’s the end of the quarter, and your CFO has requested a meeting to see results from the campaigns but you aren’t prepared with the right information.

Yikes, I feel you. I really do. But don’t stress just yet.

Time and time again, marketers opt out of results measurement — a crucial part of all mobile advertising campaigns. And, thankfully, there are mobile analytics tools available that can help you overcome these uncomfortable talks with your CFO.

Services that utilize mobile ad analytics dashboards (Demand Side Platforms or DSPs) track the most valuable information about the people who click on your ads. They can help you adjust your campaigns in real-time, resulting in more relevant clicks and better mobile ad performance.

And yes, they make measurement and reporting easy, providing the transparency that allows you to track and report the key metrics that matter most to your brand.


Avoiding these common mobile advertising mistakes is important to the success of any mobile ad campaign. Why run the risk of getting demoted for continuing with your less-than-stellar strategy? Instead, implement my suggestions above.

And feel free to mention my name — I’m not scared of your boss.

New to mobile advertising? Take our full mobile advertising 101 course for free:

Mobile Advertising 101 eBook

Natalie Lynn
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