Mobile Advertising: Misperceptions and Its Opportunities for Startups [VIDEO]

March 24, 2015

5:00 pm

“I think there’s still a lot of, um, I don’t want to say misinformation, but i just think there’s a lack of education about the power of mobile advertising. And when you think about what you can do from a mobile perspective, I’ve always felt like mobile can be a more potent platform than desktop.”

This, according to Brian Colbert, the chief revenue officer at About.com. We recently got the chance to sit down and speak with him at this year’s SXSW, and he shared with us some insight on mobile advertising and what opportunities startups can take in the space. And if there’s anyone to get advice from on the potential of mobile advertising, Colbert is one of the best people to give it; prior to joining About.com, he worked at Pandora, where he played an essential role in making the company’s first $100 million in mobile ad sales.

“There’s so much more that the phone can do from an ad perspective that a computer never could. And I think from a startup standpoint, you have to be really smart about just leveraging all this power and potential in the platform.”

One of the things that drew him to About.com was the opportunity to scale the company, and one of the main ways of doing that was to help make the site more mobile-driven and therefore more focused on mobile advertising opportunities. And he believes there’s still a huge opportunity for startups to do some great things in the mobile advertising space. Despite all of the things that have been tried in the past six or seven years, the onset of new phones with new features (citing the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge) provides a new set of opportunities that startups can jump on.

“I think mobile differs from desktop or traditional advertising in the sense that you’ve got much smaller footprint to work with; you’ve got a screen that’s five inches instead of thirteen. And, from that standpoint, you have to think about advertising in a different way – you’ve got a much more finite space to work with.”

According to Colbert, you have to be much more economical in the way you approach mobile advertising. While you’re working with a much smaller banner on mobile, that doesn’t mean that the won’t work as well; instead, he argues that it’s actually just the opposite. Mobile advertising actually takes up a larger proportion of the screen than does desktop advertising. And because of the utilization of things like the phone’s accelerometer, GPS, and other tools not available on desktop, mobile ads can drive higher engagement and provide super relevant content.

Watch the rest of what About.com’s Brian Colbert has to say about mobile advertising in the video below:

This video series was made possible through the support of Microsoft BizSpark and TrepLife.

Every entrepreneur has a great story–and Trep Life is here to tell it. We document the grind, hustle, and payoff of building companies.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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