The Digital Marketer’s Quandary: Mobile Web vs. In-App Advertising

When it comes to mobile digital advertising, there are many options to get your products and services viewed by millions of users every day. The tricky part seems to be how you target your advertising for maximum effect: do you target your advertising budget towards mobile web ads users will see when browsing on their smartphone, or do you insert your advertising into the free mobile applications and games used by millions use every day? There is no easy answer, and it is important to weigh the pros and cons for yourself against the needs of your business and your target market. Here are some benefits and disadvantages to both methods that will help you make smarter decisions regarding how to allocate your digital advertising budget across the mobile web and via in-app advertising.

Mobile Web Benefits and Drawbacks

Mobile web ads are still the more versatile option due to cross-platform compatibility and responsive design. When ads are cross-platform, they automatically push to browsers in the format that is best for the screen on which they are being viewed.Mobile web ads are also lower cost to buy, and they cost less to maintain over time. The downside to mobile web ads, however, is that it is more difficult to collect data on user behavior, and your ads may not reach your target audience. The other issue is that many mobile web users turn a blind eye to your ads while browsing content because of mobile web ad saturation. The bottom line is that mobile web is lower cost and wider distribution, but it is difficult to target properly.

In-App Benefits and Drawbacks

In-App ads are far easier to target to specific audiences and markets, and because apps can collect more user habit data they are easier to fine-tune for the greatest impact. The disadvantages, on the other hand, are expense and finding suitable ad options. For example, banner ads definitely up your exposure, but many app users filter out banner’s unconsciously, so a full screen ad or pop-up may be a better yet more expensive option. In-app ads also must be custom fitted for apps, and are not cross-platform like mobile web apps.

Ultimately, how you allocate your marketing dollars is up to you. Attribution and targeting are far superior when using in-app advertising, but they also come with a higher cost and more limited reuse than mobile web apps. Hopefully, armed with the lowdown on digital advertising for mobile, you can make an informed decision about how to put your best foot forward in digital mobile marketing.