The definition of ‘Advertisement’ is changing in the mobile era

The definition of ‘Advertisement’ is: A notice or announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service, or event of publicizing a job vacancy. 

However, I think it needs to be changed. Look around you; no one is paying attention to flyers anymore. Instead, people are constantly checking their devices: iPhone, iPad, Smartwatch, Google glass and Fitbit. I found this image from the article, the definition of an advertisement has never been more unclear.


I love this image. If I could make any changes to this image, I would make the iPad screen in the image bigger so I could draw in all the different types of ad units; lock-screen ads (Amazon names it as ‘wake-screen’), interstitial, banners, video ads and so on.

When I first joined Com2us, a mobile gaming company last year, my official title was Business Development, But since the company was running in startup mode, I had to learn skills in many different areas; PR, Marketing, Monetization and User Acquisition. I found the term ‘User Acquisition’ a little bit odd. ‘ job is acquiring more users? how is it different from traditional marketing?’. But, I soon realized that User Acquisition is just a fancier way to describe ‘spending tons of money to get more users to see/ click/ install your games’. To be more specific, these are the steps I follow:

  • Step1. Set a budget. (usually monthly)
  • Step2. Find Ad channels that I want to spend money on. (believe me, there are so many! I am being stalked by some marketing companies…)
  • Step3. Set a campaign. (check image size, campaign period, daily goals, etc.)
  • Step4. Evaluate a campaign. (how many quality users I got?, ROI, etc.)

After meeting with several mobile ad networks, I was impressed by how many different ad units can be displayed on my small phone screen. In the beginning, I had to spend some good amount of time studying multiple ad networks and compare them to find a right partner . Now, UA (User Acquisition) is definitely one my favorite roles at Com2us.

As mobile Ad industry grows bigger, some startups are finding new business opportunities. For example, Kochava created a tracking solution that helps a UA person like me analyze campaign results. Through Kochava dashboard, I can efficiently calculate the LTV (Life Time Value) of the users that I acquired.

Social media including Facebook and Twitter are my go-to advertisement channels: Facebook has a great mobile Ad product; people can easily see Ads & download advertised apps from their News Feed. Twitter has a ‘promoted twitter account’ product that helps companies to get more twitter followers / user engagement. But Twitter doesn’t support users to download the app directly from Twitter News Feed yet.

Going back to the definition of Advertisement: A notice or announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service, or event of publicizing a job vacancy. 

I would like to change it to: A notice or announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service, or event of publicizing a job vacancy. 

The reason? I don’t think anyone considers their iPhone ‘public’.

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