Mobile Ads Generally Disliked, But Seen Effective

Smartphone and tablet owners may love their devices, but they’re not all that fond of advertising on them, according to [download page] the AdReaction 2012 report released by Millward Brown in November 2012. Asked their attitudes toward 21 different advertising types, smartphone and/or tablet owners from 18 countries were most likely to view TV and radio ads favorably, at 51% each, followed by magazine ads (50%), billboard ads (47%), and newspaper ads (47%). Mobile ads came in 19th in favorability.

The most positive attitude towards digital advertising is for opt-in email ads, which 45% find very or somewhat favorable. Social media news feeds (43%) are next among digital media, followed by online search ads (39%). Mobile ads, near the bottom of the list (23%), are tied with online music players, just behind in-game ads (25%) and a few points ahead of non-opt-in email (18%).

This hardly means that mobile ads are unimportant; they can drive traffic to an optimized website for continued engagement, or invite the viewer to take some other action. A third of those who have seen mobile ads report having visited a brand website, while 31% have searched for the brand. Roughly 1 in 5 have clicked on or otherwise interacted with an ad, and a similar proportion have looked for a brand in a store in response.

Similarly, citing data from Dynamic Logic, the study finds that mobile ads have more impact than online ads in a variety of brand metrics, including aiding brand awareness, message association, brand favorability, and purchase intent.

Mobile Websites Must Be Fast, Clear, Easy

Presumably a mobile ad drives the viewer first to a mobile website, although the survey finds that various other methods, such as recommendations, online ads, print ads, and TV ads drive users to a mobile website.

No matter the path they take, once there, mobile users have high expectations for those websites. Their top three criteria for what makes a good mobile website concern speed and display:  that the site loads quickly (64%); that it displays clearly on the mobile device (53%); and that it can easily be found via mobile search (47%).

Speed is of the utmost importance, as mobile device users have little patience for long load times, found Keynote Systems in August 2012. If a webpage accessed by a mobile device takes too long to load, 16% typically close the page and give up, while 6% go to a competitor’s website.

Asked by Millward Brown what makes a mobile site superior to a desktop site, respondents primarily believe a mobile site must be easier to use than a brand’s desktop site (32%), offer different features (25%), look better (24%), and be more fun to use (21%). Finally, 23% believe that mobile websites must include location-based features.

About The Data: The study was conducted using qualitative and/or quantitative methodologies across 18 countries, with a total of more than 6,000 interviews.