For marketers struggling to keep up with the fast-changing mobile ad landscape, help has arrived: TapSense just updated "A Complete Guide to Mobile Marketing."

The third edition of this handy manual has been expanded with tips on strategies, business and native ads. It is quickly becoming the go-to guide for mobile ads.

For example, there are tips about native ads for mobile, an environment where native ads are arguably better suited because of the limited screen real estate. Those ideas include selecting a native format that works best for your product, tapping into demand on real-time bidding marketplaces, and being sure to label sponsored content clearly, if not for any other reason than the fact that the US Federal Trade Commission is watching.

The Art of Mobile

There's another section outlining "Three Important Monetization Trends for Independent Mobile Publishers" -- native ads, programmatic buying and real-time bidding, and video.

If you're a publisher looking to attract big brand advertisers, there's also something for you. For example, it suggests providing premium inventory at scale, featuring high quality content and having a clearly differentiated offering.

A side-by-side comparison between native ads and mobile banner ads is provided, as is a 2014 Mobile Marketing Checklist on the key smartphone channels (social media on mobile, mobile banner ads, mobile video, mobile native ads and content syndication). Recommendations for creating compelling mobile ads are also offered.

Although Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu knew zero about mobile marketing 2500-plus years ago, this guide provides suggestions about how you can apply his wisdom from "The Art of War" to the age of Android.

For instance, adapting Tzu's principle that "it's more important to out-think your enemy than out-fight him," the guide suggests searching for guerrilla marketing opportunities, finding lower-cost suppliers and taking risks with your brand. 

Chockful of Tips

There's much more, including the guide's latest rundown on smartphone display ad formats and translations of the alphabet soup of common mobile ad shorthand – DSPs, RTB, SSPs and so on.

mobile devices from Tapsense Guide.jpg


Gregory Kennedy, vice president of marketing at TapSense, told CMSWire that one of the big takeaways of this year's edition is the rise of programmatic and real-time bidding, adding that "automated buying and selling will dominate the mobile landscape by the end of the year." Up to this point, he said, automated buying has not been as popular for mobile as for PCs, as evidenced by the fact that Facebook "has no automated buying on mobile" as they do for PCs.

Kennedy also pointed to the growing strength of native ads on mobile because of the higher rate of responses, and said we should be ready for ads on wearables. But, he added, "the definition of advertising and marketing is changing with the devices, [because] people like marketing and ads that add value."

Some of TapSense's wisdom may be a tad self-serving, such as the section on "When to hire a mobile agency and how to ensure they're the right fit." Though TapSense is actually an ad platform, its industry role may conflict at times with that of agencies. In any case, it's useful information if you keep things in perspective.

One hopes that TapSense continues to update this guide, maintaining its informative and entertaining approach. Other companies would be well-advised to create highly readable guides to their own marketing sectors.

Image from TapSense