Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mobile ads may have fallen victim to "fat fingers"

If you have been in the media industry in the last five years, you will know that mobile advertising has grown leaps and bounds. While it’s been available for quite some time, it has recently trickled down to local advertiser budgets. There are many advantages to this kind of vehicle; however, research is beginning to prove that advertisers must be realistic with the results of a campaign. Click through rates (CTR) may be padded by “fat fingers.”

The theory is that people accidentally click on a mobile ad without intending to navigate to that page, which has coined the term “fat fingers.” According to eMarketer, the company GoldSpot Media recently did some research to learn whether or not the theory is true.

Initial results showed that 38% of clicks on static ads and 13% of clicks on rich media mobile ads were unintentional. The process for this was to evaluate actions after a click was made. If a user stayed on the website for more than two seconds, then it counted as an intended click. Conversely, if a user bounced out of the site less than two seconds after the click, it was deemed “fat fingers” and removed from the CTR results.

From this, the company devalued the rich media CTRs from 4% to about 2%. Likewise, static media CTRs went from 3.1% to 1.1%.

While this may affect how advertisers value the CTRs of mobile ads, it should still be known that even devalued mobile results are significantly higher than computer desktop CTRs.

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