‘Tablet audiences still too small, and not catered for effectively’

A lack of quality ad formats and the only relatively recent consumer uptake of tablet devices is preventing brand advertising budgets from being spent on mobile devices, according to panellists at today’s (3 October) AOP conference. 

Tablet Samsung iPad

Representatives from Facebook, IPC Media and mobile specialist agency Somo, collectively made the claims during a panel session this morning addressing the complicated issue of publishers monetising their mobile audiences.

Their thoughts come despite recent study from eMarketer demonstrated that approximately a third of the UK population now uses tablets at least once a month, although this figure includes individuals that own their own tablet as well as people who share a tablet with family members or others. However, eMarketer, estimated this audience to reach 34.8 per cent of the population by 2017.

Ed Couchman, Facebook UK sales manager, told attendees that brands looking to reach audiences on mobile devices in the short term at any significant degree of scale should focus their efforts on smartphone users, not tablet users. 

He said: “Brands looking for scale don’t focus on tablets too much… there still isn’t enough scale… in the short term we need to make it easy for agencies looking for reach to buy on.”

During the same session, Ross Sleight, chief strategy officer at mobile and social specialist agency Somo, explained that while tablet owners are considered a desirable demographic for advertisers, the limited variety of ad formats prevented his clients from spending a significant amount campaign budget on tablet devices.

He said: “[Advertising on] mobile doesn’t increase brand awareness, but it does increase propensity to purchase. 

“The tablet experience is a lean back one and similar to TV, and as an advertiser you want to have things like video ads, but there’s not a lot [of quality or variety] out there.”

This, combined with the lack of effective cross-device tracking available on mobile devices, means it is often difficult to justify a significant amount of spend on mobile devices, he said.

Fellow panellist, Neil Robinson, IPC digital director, added: “I don’t think we [the publishing industry as a whole] have the right methods of tracking.

“We’re just porting our content on to mobile from the web, [but] we need to think about the context of mobile and think about providing mobile experiences.”

Separately, Tim Cain, AOP head of research and insights, presented findings from the AOP Content and Trends Census 2013, indicating publishers need to put more effort into retaining control over their first-party data.

The findings showed 36 per cent of publishers believe agency demands for their first-party data posed the biggest challenge to the industry, and simply surrendering it to third parties made monetising mobile audiences even more difficult.

He said: “It’s all about advertising accountability. As buying becomes increasingly automated publishers could lose control.

“This year’s Census shows they are finally acknowledging the role data can play at helping them to retain control.”

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here