If you think back over the last seven days of your life . . . hell, the last seven hours . . . how many mobile ads do you remember actually looking at? What brands were they for? Exactly.
At a Fast Company Innovation Festival event on Wednesday, mobile advertising firm Kargo presented its case for brands to invest more in premium media content. The crux of the argument from Kargo president and chief operating officer Ryan McConville, and VP of research AJ Mathew was that the sheer amount of time people spend reading articles from The New York Times, Vice, CNN, and many more, combined with their state of mind while reading those articles, is seriously undervalued by marketers right now.
According to McConville, millennials spend 95 mins a day texting, 49 minutes on email, 39 mins watching videos, 38 minutes trolling Facebook, and 35 minutes reading premium media content. And yet almost 45 cents of every marketing dollar is spent on Facebook's 38 minutes. McConville says that if you look at how we interact with Facebook—scrolling, randomly stopping to see a GIF or look at a picture of our friend's kid—compare to how we read a New York Times article, the difference is clear. And that difference should inform how marketers approach the platform.
"When you're (reading premium content), your behavior changes, you slow down, and you hone in," he said. "It's a little bit less of a scramble than the social feed. So it's about figuring out how you make someone pay attention and punch through when someone is actually paying a greater degree of attention. You're reading articles all the time, whether on Snapchat, Facebook or Twitter, content lives inside social apps. The 35 minutes of consumption is that which happens only on mobile websites. If you add up all the consumption inside all these other windows, it's likely the number one activity we do on our phones in a given day. It's also the one we're most honed into."
We scroll through Facebook on average at over 250 pixels per second—five times faster than we scroll through an article. "In Facebook you scroll through an ad in less than a second, whereas on the New York Times site you may hover for five or six seconds," said McConville. "These are the types of mathematics in mobile marketing that we're starting to look at. Because when you tie it back to brand recall, people are tying it back more to ads they saw in an article, than when they see them in social feeds."
Seeing as 85 cents of every mobile marketing dollar is spent between Google search and Facebook social, McConville said that in financial terms, marketers have an unbalanced portfolio. "We say they're overweight Facebook, over-invested in places where the attention span is much shorter . . . Marketers haven't fully dug in to mobile advertising yet, so they're just investing in a couple of places—no one gets fired for giving Facebook or Google money—so there's a little bit of a challenge to get marketers to think more deeply about their mobile marketing investment."