Audience Targeting Is More Successful on Mobile Than on Desktop

September 15, 2017

Mobile ads are reaching their intended audiences at a higher rate than desktop ads, a finding that may relate to desktops’ higher likelihood of having multiple users, according to a comScore report. In its analysis of US digital advertising in-target rates in Q2, comScore found higher rates on average for mobile (53%) than desktops (49%).

The gap in on-target rates was particularly large for several verticals:

  • Telecom: 71% for mobile vs. 61% for desktop;
  • Finance: 67% for mobile vs. 59% for desktop;
  • Auto: 61% for mobile vs. 53% for desktop; and
  • CPG: 50% for mobile vs. 42% for desktop.

Of the 7 major verticals highlighted, desktops outperformed mobile in only one: health (60% and 50%, respectively).

Previous research from Nielsen has found desktops tending to perform better for broadly-targeted campaigns, with mobile stronger at reaching narrower targets.

Desktop Viewability Rate Sees Slight Gain

The global viewability rate across the 10 markets included in comScore’s benchmark improved by a single percentage point in Q2.

The US and Canada shared the lead, each with a 56% desktop viewability rate, up a point from Q1.

The UK, by contrast, had the lowest rate, with fewer than half (49%) of ads being viewed.

An earlier analysis from Integral Ad Science (IAS) covering H2 2016 suggested that half-page (300 x 600) and skyscraper ads (160 x 600) have the highest viewability rates in the US, while medium rectangles (300 x 250) have the lowest.

Direct Tops Programmatic

Digital ads continue to perform better with direct placements than with programmatic delivery, per the report, which focuses on desktop impressions for these breakdowns.

Direct outperformed in desktop display viewability (60% vs. 55%), but really outshone programmatic in desktop video viewability (74% vs. 52%).

In a similar – and related – pattern, invalid traffic was lower for direct placements than programmatic impressions (4% vs. 7%), with a larger gap for desktop video (4% vs. 10%).

Interestingly, while that suggests that direct buys hold a stronger advantage over programmatic in video campaigns, prior research from IAS actually found that the brand risk gap was smaller for video than display campaigns.


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