Mobile advertising spending is soaring in the US, now representing close to one-quarter of all online ad spending. With mobile ad revenues predicted to continue growing at impressive rates, the buzz isn’t likely to end anytime soon. So what goals underpin this trend? A new study from Advertiser Perceptions offers some insights.
Customer engagement is one of the key reasons, per results from the survey of 300 agency and marketer decision-makers who represent larger advertisers and are involved in recommending, specifying or approving spending for mobile advertising. Some 83% said that driving engagement with their customers is an important reason (top-2 box on a 5-point scale) for using mobile advertising. Other motivations for using mobile ads include connecting with customers on all platforms (78%), and building awareness for new brands, services, or promotions/events (77%). Slightly further back: driving traffic to a retail location or website (71%) and generating sales at a physical location or website (69%).
The focus on customer engagement has also been seen in other mobile-related research. For example, a recent study from Ascend2 found that the most important objective among survey participants for mobile marketing was to improve customer engagement. What’s interesting to note is that mobile ad goals appear to be (for now) more about awareness and engagement than about direct response. For the time being, in any case, few consumers report that mobile display ads influence their purchases, at least in comparison to other advertising channels.
When it comes to what Advertiser Perceptions terms “results” (impressions, conversion, sales, awareness, ROI), large advertisers tend to feel that smartphone ads deliver a greater benefit than tablet ads, an intriguing insight given that conversion rates are typically higher on tablets than on smartphones (although click rates do appear higher on smartphones). Specifically, 36% believe that smartphone ads deliver better results than tablets, with 22% favoring tablets. (The largest share – 42% – find them to be equal.)
More advertisers also favor smartphones than tablets in terms of delivering an audience (composition, reach) and for targeting purposes (behavioral, demographic, editorial, geographic, interest-based, psychographic, SIC). Not surprisingly, tablets get the nod for engagement and user experience, while both are viewed relatively equally for brand safety.
Also to be expected: Google and Facebook are the most requested mobile advertising brands, per agency respondents to the survey. The two brands capture the highest share of global mobile advertising spending, with Google taking the lion’s share but Facebook rising quickly, per eMarketer estimates.
About the Data: In July of 2014, Advertiser Perceptions interviewed 300 agency and marketer decision makers online to gauge their optimism toward, and perceptions of, Mobile Advertising. All survey respondents represent large advertisers and are involved in recommending, specifying or approving spending for mobile advertising. Among the respondents, 59% were agency advertising decision makers and 41% were marketers. Overall, 45% of respondents were at the VP level or higher. Their decision making involvement spans mobile, digital, print and television.