“Our customers are constantly on Facebook, so let’s just create some Facebook ads.”

“People are actively searching for our product, so let’s allocate our mobile ad budget to Google.”

If you’re a marketing professional, you’ve likely heard something like this from either clients or superiors at your company. And while you may think you should just bite your tongue, keep quiet and do as you’re told, I think you should get gutsy, speak up and say no.

But why should you listen to me? Well, here’s one very good reason:

Because it’s a really limiting mobile ad strategy.

Giving your mobile advertising dollars to only  Google and Facebook may seem like a easy decision at first as they are two major advertising players in the industry. But statistics show that your brand will miss out on reaching its intended target audience if you don’t attempt to peer beyond the shoulders of these two tech giants.

Yes, Google and Facebook both play an important role in the mobile advertising ecosystem, but the mobile ad sector is quite the large one – and it’s growing. Every. Single. Day.

In 2015, global mobile advertising grew 71.0% from the previous year, plus accounted for 44.5% of all online advertising revenue. And these numbers are set to increase even more in 2016.

This is just another good reason why you need to look at the entire mobile ad ecosystem and allocate your mobile advertising budget accordingly if you want your mobile ad campaigns to run successfully and boost ROI.

Let’s take a look at the bigger picture, shall we?

Why Your Mobile Ad Strategy Needs More Than Just Google and Facebook

Customers Spend Less Time on Facebook Than You Think

If you think your customers are spending the majority of their online mobile time on Facebook and other social networks, you couldn’t be more wrong.

According to eMarketer, mobile users on average only spend 34 minutes per day on social networks.

It’s a mind-blowing fact, I know. I mean, if you’re like me and many other Facebook users, you check your Facebook newsfeed throughout the day.

But how long are you actually browsing?

Think about it: a few minutes or even seconds of browsing added up throughout the day doesn’t amount to much.

But what about Google?

Honestly, Google poses an even bigger issue than Facebook. Users who are searching Google from their mobile devices also don’t amount to much. While it’s true that more than half of all Google searches occur on mobile devices, this still averages less than one search per smartphone per day.

So where are these elusive mobile users you just have to target right now?

They’re using a plethora of mobile apps, naturally! The total time spent on mobile devices and in-app is far greater than the average time spent on Facebook and Google.

Your customers are actually spending around 3 hours and 18 minutes on their mobile phones each day. And while Facebook is just one of the many mobile apps that is likely being used by your target audience, if you’re solely advertising on Facebook (or Google for that matter), you’re only reaching where users spend a tiny fraction of their online mobile time.

The Walled Garden is Worrisome

You may or may not have heard of the “walled gardens” or closed platforms of mobile ad tech, but I can tell you that it presents possible problems for marketers.

At the very least, it should make you weary of putting the entirety of your mobile ad budget into Facebook and Google.

The idea of the walled garden approach to advertising may make some sense on mobile as swapping between apps takes more time than staying put. But that’s where Facebook and Google both want your users to stay: on their own platforms – not elsewhere.

While Facebook does launch some cool and innovative products, they’re all designed to keep users in their own mobile app ecosystem; think Facebook Messenger, in-app search tools, and those trending topics that are created for reading news articles and viewing other media without leaving the social network.

And Google aims to do the same.

While walled gardens may seem convenient for users, they can negatively affect the mobile advertising ecosystem.

Here are just some cons of advertising on these walled gardens:

  • They restrict third party ad tech companies from operating on their networks. This means that if you use a mobile ad network to run and manage your mobile ad campaigns (and you should be to reach more customers — more on that later), Google and Facebook will only give access to their own inventory.
  • Because you are paying money to advertise on their own respective platforms that sell just their inventory, there isn’t a real way to know if Facebook and Google are functioning objectively.
  • Open, distributed systems always leapfrog walled gardens in terms of innovation and scalability.

You’ll Miss Out on a Significant Amount of Mobile Inventory

Remember when I said that Facebook and Google are top players in the mobile advertising industry?

It’s true.

In fact, combined they hold a significant amount of global mobile inventory.


However, if you aggregate all of the smaller mobile apps and websites outside of the Facebook and Google ecosystems, you will find that they contain just as significant an amount of mobile inventory. And guess what? That’s where your customers are spending a lot of their mobile time: on a combination of these smaller mobile apps and websites.

Google and Facebook Don’t Really Care About You

Okay, so that may sound a bit harsh. But Facebook and Google are, indeed, self-serving.

They won’t hold your little hand and show you the complicated world of advertising on their networks. This is just another problem as mobile advertising isn’t a walk in the park to the average marketer.

So unless you know how to distribute your mobile ad budget accordingly, build stunning mobile creative, optimize your mobile ad campaigns and review their performances, then you’ll need to look beyond Facebook and Google for your mobile advertising needs.

Thankfully, the Mobile Majority offers full-service mobile advertising solutions that run your campaigns for you. We handle the hard stuff, allowing you to focus on the bigger picture: the growth of your company.

So, the next time you’re tasked with spending all of your mobile ad budget on Facebook or Google ads, mention to whomever it concerns that there are experts on hand who can optimize your mobile ad campaigns in real-time to ensure the best results possible – outside of Facebook and Google.

Because that’s where your customers are spending their time.