Mobile Marketing is challenging in 2023 – 9 Reasons

Mobile marketing is a challenge every business owner will encounter and probably already does. Like the changes the internet brought to many businesses from big platforms Amazon, mobile marketing changes the landscape even more. Mobile marketing has its very own rules and is a completely new challenge for creative people as well as for media planning. Everything is more difficult and more complex.

What are the typical pitfalls that advertisers face when they also want to reach their target group via mobile devices? Some hurdles have to be overcome, as this short summary shows, but none of this seems insoluble.


I would say the challenges of mobile marketing are:

  • The variety of devices
  • App vs Website for mobile Marketing

Reason 1: Device classes and different usage situations of mobile devices are a challenge in mobile marketing

Mobile does not necessarily mean that the device is used mobile, and this is where the first problems begin, which ambitious campaign designers, as well as media planners, should see as a sporting challenge. What is known as mobile is not only smartphones but also their larger cousins “phablets” and “tablets”.

Source: http://www.quickmeme.com/p/3vqgt4


The latter classes of devices are more likely to be used in WLAN operation at home. But how should tablet users – after all, 20 percent of all online users also regularly use tablets – be considered for a campaign?

Statista Mobile Marketing Tablet Users World Wide
Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/377977/tablet-users-worldwide-forecast/

Should the advertiser use the same app advertising media and motifs as smartphone users?

Here you first have to keep your own campaign goal in mind. This is because the tablet usage situation is not comparable to that of smartphones. Large-scale branding advertising media may even be counterproductive because the user might feel disturbed.

Because a smartphone user is more likely to be in a waiting situation, uses the device for work and for the journey to and from work, and consumes content more quickly. Quite unlike most tablet users, who surf in a relaxed manner on the couch at home, i.e. almost in the so-called leanback mode, in the evening hours. But if you know your target group and your communication goal, you should get a handle on it, as long as you have enough planning data available.

Reason 2: Advertise in the app or on a mobile website for mobile marketing

App vs Website for mobile marketing
Source: https://t3n.de/news/mobile-website-vs-app-394349/

Advertisers are also faced with the question of whether they should design and deliver their campaigns for both apps and mobile websites. However, cookies can only be used on mobile websites, Mobile Enable Websites (MEWs). With apps, on the other hand, cookies cannot be used to mark users and create user profiles.

But not taking apps into account would be a fatal mistake because: “85 percent of users on the smartphone takes place in the apps, only 15 percent in the mobile browser – so on the smartphone: the app is the new web,” says Florian Renz. Senior Manager of the market research company GfK, which can use the Crossmedia Link Panel to analyze cross-channel media usage.

To neglect the MEWs would certainly not be the right way. After all, mobile websites are rather content-driven formats in which brand communication is more effective than in an app that is only intended to assume a certain function for the user, such as a weather app.

Reason 3: App advertising is still uncharted territory for mobile marketing

For classic brand advertisers, in-app advertising is still uncharted territory. Tracking and targeting work differently in the app world, where cookies play a subordinate role. Other parameters such as GPS coordinates or device IDs are preferred for allocation, especially in the area of targeting. Although Android (71 percent market share) and Apple (20.9 percent market share) each have their own ecosystem, they do not necessarily have their own rules regarding the tracking and targeting of apps. In the area of targeting, these providers all work with a device ID that functions like Apple’s IDFA, while at Android it is the advertising ID.

However, data protection remains a central issue and the accepted standards regarding personal data versus non-personal data and their implications are still missing. Internationally, the mobile industry has agreed that the IDFA is a so-called pseudonym (encrypted, but not anonymized), so that the IDFA can be used for device identification without further encryption algorithms. In German data protection law, this question is the subject of intense debate and discussion as to whether the IDFA is a personal date and therefore requires further encryption so that it is not a pseudonym but an anonymized date.

Reason 4: App Advertising Runs via Software Development Kits (SDKs)

If an app publisher wants to market its app as widely as possible via several providers, it must integrate its own SDK from the marketing partner or its ad server provider. The problem here is the number of SDKs working in the background.

More than three SDKs should not be necessary, because otherwise usability problems and crashes of the app can occur. In the meantime, there are also “Mediation SDKs” from so-called “Attribution Providers”, to which other SDKs can be docked.

Reason 5: Missing planning data

Mobile is generally more difficult to plan. This is only partially true. It is true that mobile and stationary use together is hardly satisfactory.
to plan. Although the Mobile Facts of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Online Forschung (AGOF) provide a valid basis for planning with regard to the app- and
mobile website use, by no means all publishers can be identified by AGOF. Google and Facebook, whose apps are used particularly heavily, are particularly missing here. However, Facebook and Google do not look at the maps even when stationary. The real problem, however, is the overlapping reach between mobile and stationary ranges, i.e. cross-device use. This “tracking trench” can now be calculated out. AGOF had now taken up this problem and published the Digital Facts, which combine both channels in terms of planning.

Reason 6: The challenge of cross-device tracking for mobile marketing

Advertisers want to convey the right message as individually as possible in the appropriate format on the screens of the various devices. However, one problem for the advertiser remains the setting of the advertising print. With his campaign, an advertiser wants to reach the user in a limited number of contacts independent of the device. Therefore, providers such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft or GMX/Web.de have an advantage with their single log-in approach. Here the logged-in user can be recognized concretely, regardless of whether he uses the mobile app or the stationary or mobile website. In the meantime, there are technology providers who work with approximations and projections. At AdTruth, for example, they work with over 200 measuring points on the respective device and try to relate this to the behavior of the users. In this way, AdTruth wants to be able to predict whether the user is the same consumer again if he uses a different device.

Reason 7: Many screen sizes, many different advertising media for mobile marketing

Due to the different device classes, mobile users also have different screen sizes. As a result, a uniform campaign – if it makes sense at all – which is played out on all smartphone screens and tablets also requires a higher number of different advertising media, which must be stored in the app marketing agencys ad server. Here, however, there are already approaches with the response and adaptive design technologies that require only a limited number of creatives in HTML5 to deliver suitable campaigns across all digital screens.

Reason 8: Mobile rich media advertising is complicated because of HTML5

HTML5 is still regarded as a kind of bottleneck by the advertising industry. “HTML5 is more difficult to program, but Flash is learned. Many creative agencies are reaching their limits because they specialize in Flash,” says Patrick Edlefsen, Managing Director DACH of ad server and platform provider Sizmek. The large ad server and rich media specialists have long since been offering their own tools with which agencies can also create rich media ads as HTML5 format themselves in no time at all. “In our system, this even goes so far that the agency can simply convert finished Flash ads into HTML5 ads using drag & drop,” reports Edlefsen.

Reason 9: Mobile Programmatic Buying for Mobile Web and App-Targeting is a challenge for mobile marketing

Even Programmatic Buying works for the MEWs as well as in App-Inventory. While the MEWs are able to produce a match via the SSP and mobile DSP without any problems due to the cookie capability of the mobile browsers, Mobile Programmatic Buying for apps is a slightly different challenge. App tracking and targeting require other parameters such as GPS coordinates or device IDs. These are preferred for allocation, especially in the area of targeting. In addition, the weighting of the targeting criteria is different. Time, place of use, type of access to the Internet – whether Wi-Fi or carrier – or device have a decisive influence on the buying decision. The combination with so-called premium data, i.e. the recently much-discussed audience targeting, further expands the possibilities of campaign optimization in Mobile RTA by including the extended context at a specific location (e.g. socio-demography, points of interest, events, weather) in real time.


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