Apple’s iAd and Google’s AdMob battle it out for mobile marketing ad spend supremacy

Posted on September 27, 2010


Interesting news as Apple’s iAd network equals Google’s AdMob results at 21% of the mobile ad market. Microsoft dropped a third to 7%. The key though, is how big the mobile ad market currently stands. Although growth is spectacular, real dollars are still low. That means that this will be a wild west show for the next couple of years with potentially large shifts in market share depending on incremental ad spending by large corporations.

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! have swiftly lost share in the U.S. mobile advertising market to Apple’s new iAd. Independent rivals such as Jumptap and Millennial Media are gaining, too

Apple (AAPL) may be gaining share in the U.S. mobile advertising market this year at the expense of Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT)

Apple will end the year with 21 percent of the market, according to estimates provided to by researcher IDC. Google’s share will drop to 21 percent, from 27 percent last year, when combined with results from AdMob, the ad network it bought in May. Microsoft will drop to 7 percent, from 10 percent.

The companies have been upgrading ad software and buying businesses to grab a larger chunk of mobile advertising, which may more than double in the U.S., to almost $500 million in 2010, IDC said. Apple, maker of the iPhone and iPad, didn’t sell mobile ads last year. In January, it bought Quattro Wireless, which had 9 percent of the market in 2009, IDC said. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs announced the iAd network in April and launched it in July.

“Apple’s acquisition of Quattro and Steve Jobs’s launch of iAd put a spotlight on mobile advertising,” said Paran Johar, chief marketing officer at rival mobile ad network Jumptap.


Apple’s push into mobile ads may be a reason for its rivals’ market-share declines. Since June, the number of brands that have agreed to run ads through Apple’s iAd network has doubled, said Natalie Kerris, a spokeswoman for Apple.

On June 7, Cupertino (Calif.)-based Apple said it had $60 million in iAd commitments from marketers, including food and personal-care product maker Unilever (UN), electronics retailer Best Buy (BBY), and satellite-television service provider DirecTV (DTV).

Unilever, whose first iAd made its debut in July, is “extremely happy” with the results of its ad campaigns, Rob Master, the company’s North American media director, says in an interview. More than 20 percent of people who click on Unilever iAds—which feature video and an interactive game—check out the ad a second time, he says.

Google’s mobile-ad sales are experiencing fast growth, said Jason Spero, director of mobile for the Americas at Mountain View (Calif.)-based Google. The company doesn’t break out full-year mobile ad sales. Nor do other mobile ad networks.


“If we are losing share, this market is growing faster than any one we’ve seen,” Spero says in an interview. Google has increased its investments in mobile advertising and AdMob will launch new features in 2011, he said.

Yahoo! (YHOO)’s share in mobile ads will drop to 9 percent this year, from 12 percent last year, while Espoo (Finland)-based Nokia (NOK) will suffer a decline to 2 percent, from 5 percent, according to IDC.

“We are confident in our strategy and focus moving forward,” Scott Lahde, a spokesman for Sunnyvale (Calif.)-based Yahoo, wrote in an e-mail. Jackie Lawrence, a spokeswoman for Redmond (Wash.)-based Microsoft, and Laurie Armstrong, a Nokia spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Apple’s iAd network may not be growing as fast as CEO Jobs hoped. Speaking at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Jobs said iAd would grab almost half of all projected U.S. mobile-ad spending in the second half of this year. That may be wishful thinking, says Karsten Weide, an analyst for IDC in San Mateo, Calif.

To grow even faster, iAd will need to add features, such as the ability for advertisers to target specific devices. Philippe Browning, director of mobile strategy and business development at CBS (CBS/A), says he passed on iAd when he found out Apple couldn’t serve ads to iPad owners exclusively. He opted for AdMob, which offered more flexibility.

Apple and Google are also facing increased competition from smaller rivals. Cambridge (Mass.)-based Jumptap may see its share jump to 13 percent this year, from 10 percent in 2009, IDC said. Millennial Media, a Baltimore-based ad network, may climb to 11 percent, from 9 percent.

“Millennial continues to gain steam because we are seen as independent,” CEO Paul Palmieri says in an interview. Google is promoting its Android mobile-operating system, while Apple sells its hardware. Their interests can clash with advertisers’ interests, he says.

New competitors are trickling in. On Sept. 22, wireless-equipment maker Ericsson (ERIC) announced its own ad network, AdMarket. Overseas rival InMobi opened a U.S. office in June. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) has been looking to acquire a mobile ad network, IDC’s Weide said. RIM didn’t respond to a request for comment.

“It’s not going to be a two-horse race” between Google and Apple, Weide said. “The race by no means is over.”

Project Overview

At the heart of every good communications program is a solid, consistent message that clearly conveys the company’s identity and emphasizes the attributes that set the company apart. This goes beyond telling what the company does; instead focusing on why it matters. And, for customers across all of siteminis’ target industries, what truly matters can be boiled down to one word – value. The value in harnessing the power of the pervasive and personalized mobile platform; the value of ensuring a consistent brand image across all channels and devices; and the value of creating and maintaining meaningful and lasting connections with true brand enthusiasts.

Messaging Refresh

Cohn & Wolfe will work with siteminis to refine and elevate its core message platform to “speak in the language of value” and connect key company offerings with general brand attributes most desired by customers and consumers. The messaging refresh program starts off with a half-day messaging and immersion session at siteminis’ offices where the entire Cohn & Wolfe team can speak directly with siteminis leadership and understand all aspects of the company’s strategic business direction. From this meeting, C&W will develop a new message platform driven by top-line mission, vision and differentiation statements that can reach across business segments, giving all external and internal audiences a clear and unified understanding of the company and the value it brings to the market. This message platform will be grounded in research to ensure relevancy to key audiences and differentiation from competitors. All messages will be supported with key proof points for each of the industry segments in preparation for ongoing communications activities.

Spokesperson Media Training

To create consistency of corporate voice, C&W will media train all relevant siteminis spokespersons on the key messages and how to craft compelling soundbites during interviews. Training would occur upon completion of the messaging refresh. Media training sessions typically run four hours and consist of up to four spokespersons per session.

Budget & Timeline

For the proposed messaging and media training project, Cohn & Wolfe is proposing a $15,000 one-time project budget covering a two month (8 week) project timeline from immersion through media training. The budget reflects professional service fees only. Any out-of-pocket expenses are above-and-beyond the monthly fee agreement.

MESSAGING & MEDIA TRAINING – $15,000.00 project budget

  • Activities and Deliverables
    • Immersion Session (I day)
    • Industry Research/Discovery (2 weeks) – Deliverable: High-Level Industry Research Report
    • Messaging Creation (2 weeks) – Deliverable: Draft Mission, Vision and Positioning Statements
    • Messaging Edits (1 week) – Deliverable: Revised Mission, Vision and Positioning Statements
    • Messaging Creation (2 weeks) – Deliverable: Draft Industry Key Messages and Proof Points
    • Messaging Edits (1 week) – Deliverable: Revised Industry Key Messages and Proof Points
    • Media Training (1 day) – Deliverable: Finalized Messaging Architecture and Media Guidelines

Recommended “Next Steps” Programs

Upon completion of the initial Messaging & Media Training project, Cohn & Wolfe will be prepared to develop and implement a broad communications program aimed at elevating the message and amplifying the value of siteminis among its core audience targets. An overview of the programs we would consider for siteminis include the following: collateral development, news bureau, industry analyst relations, speaker’s bureau and digital engagement.

Collateral Development

Once a company’s messaging is established or refreshed, it is important to ensure that the new positioning permeates across all internal and external sales, marketing and communications channels. This is most effectively accomplished by the creation of new (or update of existing) collateral materials including company backgrounders, corporate bios, fact sheets, web copy, newsletters, etc. Cohn & Wolfe works with our clients to help socialize and integrate new messaging across all functions and channels.

News Bureau

A robust news bureau is at the heart of most C&W media relations programs. The goal of any media relations program is to maintain a steady flow of communication to introduce and familiarize a company with targeted media, digital influencers, industry groups and associations. The news bureau has both proactive and reactive components, positioning our clients as thought leaders in their fields.

Industry Analysts

Industry analysts are the lynch-pin to a successful industry influencer program, taking the role of the third-party advocate that can validate market opportunities and corporate strategies.  C&W builds relationships with these critical members of the “influencer ecosystem” by introducing our clients to key industry analysts through a multi-phased process, including analyst tours, tradeshow briefings and establishing a formal (paid) relationship with a top firm. The resulting relationships can create a “halo” effect within the ecosystem and encourage other influencers to help tell our clients’ stories and advocate on their behalf.

Speaker’s Bureau

Another strategy for evangelizing an organization’s vision and value is to deliver messages directly to potential clients and partners through speaking engagements at relevant meetings, seminars and events. C&W works with our clients to identify speaking opportunities within its core technology segment, as well as in vertical industries such as retail, healthcare, real estate and sustainability. C&W maintains a master matrix for all major speaking opportunities, and supports our clients in the generation of content for the speaking submission.

Digital Engagement

The keys to a successful digital engagement strategy are: 1) establishing a respected online voice for an organization that is consistent across all digital media channels; 2) creating compelling, engaging content that drives two-way conversations with online audiences; 3) distributing content on a frequent and regular basis to maintain interest; and 4) proactively marketing social properties to ensure their continued growth and relevance.  As experts and leaders across various industries, our clients seek to engage the digital community through social networks and online media. C&W partners with our clients to build out digital engagement channels (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, blogs, etc.) and enhance their digital footprint.

Posted in: Mobile Marketing