Advertising Isn't A Mobile Strategy

from the content-comes-first dept

ReadWriteWeb has an article claiming that the way to beat Google is by having a better ad platform (via Matt Asay). It says that "the company that can corner the mobile web ad market is going to be able to go toe-to-toe with Google." This is getting things completely backwards. Google doesn't dominate the search engine market because it has the best advertising platform. It dominates the advertising market because it has the best search platform. Other companies, such as AOL, that have seen themselves as an advertising company first and a content/applications company second have gone nowhere. This is especially true because the best advertising platforms are tightly integrated with their associated applications. One of the reasons Google's search advertising is so lucrative is that Google figured out how to make its ads highly relevant to users' search terms. This had two benefits. It increased click-through rates, obviously, but more importantly, it made the ads more useful -- and therefore less annoying -- to users. The same principle applies to the mobile space. Mobile advertising will only work if companies figure out how to make the overall user experience positive so that the ads don't scare users away. The way to do that is not to focus on building the best possible mobile ad platform, but rather to build the best possible mobile services, and worry about monetizing them after they've built up a significant user base.

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  1. identicon
    Sebastien Giuge, 26 May 2008 @ 1:11am

    So right. User experience first, next comes the money.
    However, Google had the chance to grow in a quiet homogeneous environment (OS, browsers). "Make the overall user experience positive" is quite a case in such a complex/atomised environment as mobile one.

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