Why Most Mobile Marketers Fail With Self Serve Mobile Advertising Part 1

With the release of the Mobi Manifesto I wrote about a month ago, we’ve had literally an astronomical influx of mobile affiliates join us here at Revived Media to get up and going in the explosive and extremely lucrative mobile advertising Industry. You cannot have growth without failure though. Failure is the experiences we learn from that make us stronger in our businesses and I’ve been a witness to many of them over the last month.

You see every mobile affiliate that comes to me is a unique individual. I make no assumptions about anyone, I assume they are as green as the grass, because to be honest, the only other daily 6-figure mobile affiliate I know in this is space is Mr. Gray – my partner.

We’ve met and worked with some $XX,XXX.XX a day mobile affiliates (only one of which is not a mobile advertising network, SSP or DSP. and/or App Developer).

We have a few dozen mobile affiliates generating over $X,XXX.XX a day with us at Revived Media that we have been working with very closely to try and get them to that next level (5-Figures), but there are three major things that I keep seeing over and over so I thought I would try to put them out there for other mobile affiliates to recognize and maybe take some value out of my answers on how to get over that hump.

First and foremost, 99.99% of mobile affiliates out there are going to gravitate to Self-Serve Mobile Ad Networks when they first start out. This is human nature at it’s finest. I say human nature because as humans, most of us will always take the short-cuts through life and in business. Jumping onto a self-serve ad network takes very little work and with as many as there are popping up these days, you can literally signup with a handful of them right now and be approved to run mobile ads by this afternoon. It really is the “Wild West” in mobile advertising right now.

Over the next week or so, I’m going to cover some of the reasons why mobile marketers fail with self-serve mobile advertising but for today, I’m going to cover the BIGGEST reason.

#1 – Cash Is King

Above all else, cash flow is king in ANY paid advertising Industry. The same rings true in mobile but right now ESPECIALLY in mobile advertising. Why? Quite simply, as I stated before, it’s literally a “shooting ducks in a barrel” type environment for mobile ad networks right now. They are pulling down revenue hand over fist. Someone is going to pay for those mobile ads. Mobile is so new, so hyped up (with good reasons, if you know what you’re doing) and EVERYONE is curious about it. It’s the LARGEST unique mass media opportunity to ever hit the world. With television and Internet you have the ability to reach mass audiences all at once. In mobile though, you get to be very personal by reaching people one at a time, uniquely, on their mobile device.

With that said, Mobile Ad Networks have no shortage of advertisers, despite what you may hear. We know this because we are fully integrated with over 100 mobile ad networks either on the mobile tracking side with our mobile tracker iMobiTrax or on the mobile ad serving side with our mobile agency here at Revived Media. Yes, we cover ALOT of ground in mobile.

Affiliates just starting out will immediately gravitate to self-serve mobile ad networks because of simplicity. The human mind is designed to solve problems with the easiest solutions and signing insertion orders, speaking with Ad Representatives and explaining your business models to Premium Mobile Ad Networks just seems like a big ole hassle. Affiliates think that with self-serve they can go and test $50-$100 a campaign and figure out what works with that budget.

You are being mislead. Or, you simply just don’t understand.

You see most mobile ad networks just have a “self-serve” division meant for the “small-timers.” By allowing mobile ads to be self-served to advertisers, there really is no backend work involved for the ad network. Follow along here:

  1. With self-serve, they can simply broker alot of inventory from much larger exchanges. Ohh, and boy do they.
  2. They don’t have to offer much advertiser to representative support. That’s the point of “self-serve”
  3. They don’t pay close attention to their traffic quality they deliver, because honestly, they don’t have to. Someone is going to buy the inventory. That’s why you get a load of wifi traffic when targeting operators on a lot of these self-serve networks.
  4. If you don’t have the budget, obviously you aren’t going to get the love. How do affiliates spending $50-$100 a day have a chance when you have organizations like us spending over 5-figures on self-serve? That’s the difference between tons of people ASKING questions in mobile versus us — who are ANSWERING them.

Self-Serve networks are basically the “low-hanging” fruit of the mobile ad industry. Despite what any of them say. We know this, because we work with or have worked with nearly all of them and it’s the same old song and dance with every one of them.

Most affiliates are extremely apprehensive when it comes to losing money. That’s the difference between the successful ones and the duds. Successful affiliates know and understand that it takes money to make money. The duds of course are fooled into the “allure” or “hype” from the successful affiliates and then when shit doesn’t go there way on $100 spend, they give up. Eventually, what these dud affiliates end up with is 10 campaigns tested at $100 spend with an overall loss of $1,000.00. That’s the weird thing about money. It can accumulate or dissipate quickly.

If you don’t have the cash to lose in the beginning or the patience to lose it gathering data to optimize, 99% of the mobile marketers will STILL try their hand but fail miserably. That’s the thing about people in general. You can TELL THEM ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING but in the end, they are still going to do whatever THEY want to do. It’s really pretty sad because this is a problem that has plagued almost every marketer I’ve ever known. If you simply don’t have the cash, then you simply don’t belong. Work on getting yourself a sizeable testing budget on self-serve so that you can have the room to make calculated and precise decisions. Doing it the right way FIRST will get you closer to success faster than doing it the wrong way OVER and OVER, even though it might take a little longer.




  1. ozzie says

    What would be an ideal starting budget for someone starting out with mobile. As I have worked on other traffic sources except mobile

  2. staringdog says

    You talking to me? You talkin' to ME? <— my Robert DeNiro impression. :)

    Get out of my head, Ruck. You're freaking me out 😀

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