10 Stale Mobile Advertising Strategies

Members of Young Entrepreneur Council discuss the methods they wish companies would stop using to advertise on mobile.

Published on Oct. 25, 2021
10 Stale Mobile Advertising Strategies
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Top row, from left: Samuel Thimothy, Blair Williams, Benjamin Rojas, Jared Atchison, Kristin Kimberly Marquet. Bottom row, from left: Chris Christoff, Cody Candee, Fritz Colcol, John Brackett, Kevin Ryan Tao. 

With average users spending somewhere between three to six hours a day on their smartphones, it’s no wonder that marketers are trying to capitalize on this space. Some marketers have been going about it the wrong way, however, creating unnecessary friction or irritation for users simply trying to consume content.

According to this panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members, the following 10 mobile marketing methods are some of the worst offenders. Consider removing these strategies from your plans if you want to make the most of your mobile marketing efforts.

10 Stale Mobile Advertising Strategies

  1. Direct messages on social media
  2. Full-screen, unskippable ads
  3. Branded apps
  4. In-game ads
  5. Low-quality ads
  6. SMS marketing
  7. Forced video ads
  8. Automated comments and bots
  9. ‘Mobile-friendly’ site design
  10. Sound-on autoplay ads

More From YEC12 Common Mistakes Companies Make When Engaging Their Audiences on Social Media


1. Direct Messages on Social Media

Access to prospects via social media direct message has been abused. There’s a difference between a well-thought-out cold pitch and just spamming. It’s like businesses have forgotten about the arts of marketing, sales and advertisement. You can’t pitch to almost everybody. You can’t send the same message a thousand other companies are sending. We can do better. — Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS


2. Full-Screen, Unskippable Ads

Creating full-screen ads that people can’t skip is a surefire way to breed resentment in one’s audience. Businesses should always ask for permission before showing an ad, or at the very least, make it smaller and easy to dismiss. Avoid forcing your marketing content on people and focus on building content that pulls people in instead. — Blair Williams, MemberPress


3. Branded Apps

I believe the overuse of apps will cause many mobile marketers’ downfalls. People’s apathy toward new apps is increasing day by day, and most apps don’t even get downloaded or retained for a whole day. Users already have their favorites installed, and there’s a limit to how many apps people are willing to download and use. — Benjamin Rojas, All in One SEO


4. In-Game Ads

Many marketers use in-game advertising in their mobile marketing strategies so they can gain revenue. But this practice is annoying to gamers and gives them a negative user experience. Of course, some of these ads help businesses generate more revenue, but you need to be careful with these types of campaigns as they can often have the opposite effect. — Jared Atchison, WPForms


5. Low-Quality Ads

I’m tired of seeing low-quality mobile ads because it makes for a bad user experience on my end. I also find mobile ads that aren’t properly optimized for different devices tacky. Testing and optimization are two critical pieces to running effective mobile ads. — Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC


6. SMS Marketing

There are still some business owners pushing SMS as their primary mobile marketing strategy. I think there are far better ways to reach your mobile audience, including social media, push alerts, email and in-app notifications. If you want to secure more mobile leads, the options outlined above can help you generate leads and secure sales faster and more efficiently than SMS marketing. — Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights


7. Forced Video Ads

When I’m forced to watch a video, oftentimes I just zone out. No one likes being forced to see something, and if I’m not interested in buying, I’ve already made up my mind about your brand. Don't force someone to sit through a video that’s not going to achieve anything. — Cody Candee, Bounce


8. Automated Comments and Bots

The worst mobile advertising strategy today is still the automated direct messages, comments and auto follow-unfollow method used throughout social media. Sure, you might bring a little attention to your business, but you cannot build trust this way. Those auto-comment bots will simply be deleted or ignored. Stop using automation and instead build an actual personality that’ll build trust and long-term relationships. — Fritz Colcol, Simply Thalia


9. ‘Mobile-Friendly’ Site Design

I still see marketers pushing for a “mobile-friendly” site design. There was a time and place for this kind of design, but that time is gone. We need to focus on mobile-responsive design instead now. Having a site that looks good on mobile devices isn’t enough now; instead, it needs to function the way a consumer would expect your site to work on a desktop. — John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC


10. Sound-On Autoplay Ads

I hate when the sound of an advertisement suddenly starts to play. Worst of all, pausing or skipping the ad is very difficult because they’re almost impossible to find on mobile. In fact, marketers do this on purpose so that the ad plays whether you want it to be or not. Not only is this very tiring, but it is also a bad strategy because it’s so annoying that users end up closing everything. — Kevin Ryan Tao, NeuEve

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