Posted February 10, 2011 8:12 pm by with 4 comments

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Oops, I did it again, and again and again. Me and forty-seven percent of mobile application users who responded to a recent Harris Interactive survey click on mobile ads more often by mistake than we do on purpose.

That’s a lot of wasted coin-for-click and as Mobile Marketer points out in their review of the situation, it’s got to stop.

With the high incidence of accidental clicks, advertisers cannot continue to use traditional online ad units and measurement models – namely banners and click-through rates – as a way to deploy and measure the success of mobile campaigns.

We all know that each medium demands its own specialized form of advertising, and with it, system of measurement, but we continue to treat mobile as if it were just a tiny version of the internet. It’s not. People do things on their phones that they don’t do online and vice versa.

Mobile is about action. It’s about moving forward and getting things done. Even when it’s entertaining, it’s still about providing information in a fast, compact, high impact way.

What the survey suggests is that mobile marketers are better off using ads that require more input than just clicking on them. Asking users to enter their email address or zip code assures that they’re interested (at least at the moment) in what they’re asking for, not just clicking through when they meant to click somewhere else.

The Harris study also found that 71% of mobile users preferred to stay in an app when they clicked instead of being sent out to a web browser and 95 percent of mobile application users have downloaded free apps and 41 percent use paid app. All of this suggests that you’d be much better off spending your ad dollars developing an informative, branded app, than in producing more graphical clickables.

It’s time we got serious about using something other than click-throughs as a measure of success. Isn’t 100 email sign-ups worth more than 1,000 random clicks? So let’s stop paying for clicks and pay for action instead.

  • The ads are everywhere now, tv, pc,moblie, and mid!

  • All the ad networks need do is add an “are you sure” second click – problem solved for all, especially the user. How many times has anyone clicked any button online only to say = ooops how do I stop this now.

    I wonder, if I hit submit comment – will I get an are you sure?

  • Do you guys think this is an interface issue or a sign that mobile ads need its own metric?

  • OOPS – i did it agein ; ) nice article…