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June 17, 2009

Admob, a Mobile Marketing Service, But Does It Actually Do What It Says?

Filed under: Start-up Companies Reviews — admin @ 2:36 am

Admob is a company that allows marketers to market their products on all mobile telephones or other communication devices. It does have a unique service, but it is not the most user friendly service out there. To use Admob, you must first create an account with Admob and registration is free. To create an ad, however, that costs something.

First of all, the registration process seems rather simple, but it can be quite problematic. It is very slow and if you try logging in before your confirmation email comes in, you will not be able to log in and you will get a notice that states that your user name (email address) and your password does not match. This can be confusing since this can make you think that you did not type your password right or forgot your password. The confirmation email is slow in coming and you also need to pay attention that the email comes into your inbox, sometimes it will end up in your spam or trash file in your email account.

Generating advertisements is done in the marketplace page of the Admob website. In the marketplace you have a series of tabs from which you can choose what type of ads you can create.

The first tab is the Ads Tab. In this tab, you have the option to either create a regular ad for any mobile device, an iPhone ad, iPhone App Tracking, My Landing Page, Daily Budget, Ad Balance Notification, and Reporting. These options give you everything you need to create and manage your ads. The My Ads option gives you a list of all the ads that you have created. The Create Ad option allows you to create an ad for mobile devices and phones and will appear in all phones. The first thing you would need to do is to add text to your ad. You can type the text or you can copy from one of your existing ads. After adding the text, you can either choose to place the ad on an existing landing page or create a landing page with Admob. If you do not have a landing page, you need to create one with admob. Creating a landing page on admob, you should note that you must upload an image and it has to be either a PNG or GIF format. Bidding on small phone or SMS ads is incredibly cheap, one penny is the minimum bid. This ad will then be sent to what ever carrier or country you want the ad to target. You can even choose what country or carrier you want your ad to go to. You can choose to all carriers and all countries, United States only, United Kingdom only, or Custom Country or carrier. Suppose you want to target your ad to Georgia and to one or more of Georgia’s carriers. Click on the custom country point, and to get Georgia, you need to click on the little arrow next to Asia and you will find Georgia. To make sure your ad will only go to Georgia, you need to remove all the check marks from all other countries and continents if you want your ad to go only to Georgia and not to any other country. Click on the little arrow next to Georgia and you can see that the three main carriers in Georgia are Beeline Georgia, the Georgian branch of Russian cell phone carrier, Beeline; Geocell, and MagtiGSM. You also have an option for other carriers, but the three listed are the major carriers in that country. Suppose you want your ad to be targeted only to the three major carriers, remove the check mark from the others box and in the box below the country and carrier box you can review your ad and you can also go back up and edit the ad if you choose to. If you want to create your ad, click on the create ad button at the bottom of the page. If you have everything required filled out, your ad will be successfully created. If your account is empty, Admob will let you know with a red bar stating that your account is empty and you can click on the link on that red box to add funds to your account.

Adding funds can also be found under the My Account Tab and click on the add funds option. When you are in the add funds option, you will come upon an online payment form where you will be prompted to type in all the payment and credit card information, like ordering anything from an online store or service. This form will first prompt you to add the amount of funding that you want to place into your account, and the minimum funding you can place into your account is $50.00. Below that, you will be prompted to enter all your credit or debit card information, such as your salutation or title (Mr. Mrs. Ms.), name and last name, credit card type, credit card number and the card security code, etc. Admob accepts all major types of credit cards, Visa, American Express, Discover, and Mastercard. Admob does not accept paypal, which can be a drawback for those of you who like to use paypal for your online payments.

Now that you have added funds to your account, you can go back to the Ad Tab and see what other options you have. More and more people are getting iPhones and you also have the option to create an iPhone ad. An iPhone ad is different from an ad for other cell phones, since the ad for cell phones usually comes as an SMS message. With the iPhone, the ads can be graphic and eye-catching. When creating an iPhone ad on Admob is to create an action, what you want the iPhone ad to do. Admob has a very hi-tech set up when it comes to iPhone ads, and you can choose the ad to come as a web action, appear in the App Store, the ad can also come up when the iPhone is in call mode, video, audio, iTunes, Maps, and Canvas. What ever action you choose, the basic construction of the iPhone ad is the same, it just depends on what app it will appear in. After choosing your action, you need to create an ad name and then add text to your ad. You have an option on uploading either an image or adding a symbol in the image corner of the ad. If you choose to upload an image, the image must be less than 75KB and the corners will automatically be rounded. Then, like with creating an ad for a regular mobile device, you have the same option but you can only choose the countries. This is because not all carriers support the iPhone. You also have the option When you are finished your ad, click on the create ad button. You will also notice that you need to put in a minimum bid. The minimum bid for an iPhone ad is 20 US cents and the high bid is 89 US cents. If you choose to delete these ads, you can do so in the ad manager, which is what appears first when you click on the Marketplace link. The next feature in the Ads Tab is the iPhone Apps Tracking option, which allows you to track iPhone downloads from the App Store and can give the information needed to write better ads for your business.

The next option is the My Landing Pages option, which allows you to manage your landing pages.

Under the Ads Tab, you can also manage a daily budget, get notices when your ad account balances run low, and get reports on how your ads are doing.

The next tab is your Sites & Apps Tab, which allows you to manage your sites and apps.

The third tab is the My Account Tab, which besides allowing you to add funds to your account, this tab also allows you to manage orders, provide information for your website publishers, transfer funds, redeem coupons, and change your password.

Omar Hamoui is the man behind Admob as the company founder and also serves in the company’s management as CEO. Mr. Hamoui also sits on Admob’s board of directors and what is the most amazing is that Mr. Hamoui founded Admob while he was still a student at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2006, when he was working on his MBA. Mr. Hamoui also graduated from the University of California with a BS in Computer Science and has also ran several tech companies, which include Vertical Blue, GoPix, and Fotochatter, which is an online social network.

Admob’s investors include Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners.

Sequoia Capital is a global vc firm that has offices in the United States, China, Israel, and India. Sequoia invests in companies who are in all stages from seed to public and mezzanine funding. Some of the best known entrepreneurs who have partnered with Sequoia Capital include Steve Jobbs of Apple, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Bob Swanson of Linear Technology, and others. Some other companies in Sequoia’s portfolio include AdBrite, Advanced Power, Afara, Agile, Barracuda Networks, and others.

Accel Partners is a global vc and private equity firm that has been around for over 25 years and has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, India, and China. Some companies in Accel’s portfolio include Glam.com, JBoss, Facebook, MetroPCS, Real, and others.

Admob does have some competitors but the one major competitor of Admob is AppLoop, which is a service similar to Admob, generating ads for mobile applications. AppLoop was founded in 2008 and is based in Silicon Valley, California with two employees. AppLoop is a privately owned company.

For more information on Admob, click here.

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