Here’s the deal: it’s hard to measure “impressions” on mobile. You can’t even tell if someone moused over something, because there’s no mouse on a touch-screen. So, more and more, advertisers are only being asked to pay when something really measurable happens. And if today’s announcement from OfferMobi is anything to go by, that’s a popular proposition amongst mobile advertisers.
OfferMobi is an “affiliate network” – meaning that the people who host these ads (in this case a mobile website or an application) get rewarded for every customer that the advertiser can count as an impression. But as we mentioned, that’s damn hard to measure on mobile.
So OfferMobi uses the Cost per Action (CPA) model, where the advertiser doesn’t pay unless a specific action is taken by the user. For example: clicking through to a website, filling out a questionnaire, watching a video, etc. Unless this action is taken, the advertiser doesn’t pay the affiliate publisher. OfferMobi claims it has attracted 600 partners (including advertisers and publishers) in its first month, and has 30 campaigns running. OfferMobi launched in April, at the ad:tech Conference in San Francisco.
What we think?
So here we go – eyeballs are no longer enough on mobile. Mobile advertising is moving perceptibly away from on-line models. While the CPA model is taken directly from on-line advertising, it can be used to strongly differentiate a mobile campaign. It’s not about how many people see a banner – it’s about how many of them click to call afterwards. It’s about how many people interact with your advertisement in a meaningful way, like a sent SMS or a downloaded coupon.
Perhaps more importantly, it offers advertisers a way to test the waters of mobile without being too nervous. For those companies who want to give mobile a try, but don’t want to invest too much of a budget, it offers a huge amount of control. For example, that company can invest in 5,000 SMS impressions – no more, no less – and pay for precisely that.
So I’m not entirely surprise that 600 companies have signed on in the first 30 days – however, what I would like to see is what size the campaigns they’re looking at are. They’re probably not all whoppers, and I’d imagine there’s more than a fair share of tiddlers and testers.