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By Christoph Ono, builder at GBKS, and tweetable at @GBKS.

Is a Mobile-First Approach Really Best?

4/24/17

Just amazing that this stuff has to be spelled out. The natural tendency of marketing thinking seems to be a quick race to the bottom where people are bombarded with ads all day by all means possible. In the same vein, I've stopped taking articles about beacons serious, since they all boast about how awesome it's going to be to send people coupons on their phones when they are near a specific store. Really missing the consideration of the human experience in all of this.

Because the mobile screen is smaller, fewer ads can be served than what's possible on a computer. "On desktop, the thinking was, 'How many ads can be crammed on the screen?' But that same idea can't be applied to mobile," said Ian Schafer, founder-chairman at Deep Focus. "Mobile is a smaller screen and there's much more emphasis put on user experience. That just limits the number of ads we see." Limiting ads isn't necessarily a bad thing. Crowding desktop screen space with banners has likely done more harm than good. Limited space may actually prompt agencies and marketers to be smarter about the kinds of ads they serve. "Mobile has created new pressures for brands that are actually really healthy pressures," said Chet Gulland, head of strategy at Droga5. "When we're talking about branding, because mobile is more on consumers' terms, it makes us ask, 'Is this a piece of content people will actually like? And is it useful?' Those two questions have become so much more important."