Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Saturday, July 16, 2011

U.S. Consumers are Less Likely to Avoid Mobile Ads


Advertising that's displayed on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, is gaining momentum in the U.S. market. Relatively speaking, people that are exposed to it are more likely to engage with the content. In contrast, prior research has focused on the accelerating trend of "advertising avoidance" by most consumers in America. The slight difference in consumer receptiveness has started to impact marketer's budget allocations.

eMarketer estimates U.S. advertisers will spend over $1.1 billion on mobile this year -- up by 48 percent from 2010 spending levels. Of that amount, 30 percent, or $334.5 million, will go to display ads (excluding video). Moreover, eMarketer predicts that in 2012 mobile display spending will surpass messaging -- the current leader in spending.

Display banner advertising will constitute the largest portion of U.S. mobile ad spending.

As more marketers from across industries begin to embrace mobile advertising, more attempts at measuring their efforts will emerge. Benchmarking efforts by MediaMind (formerly Eyeblaster) indicate that campaigns for different verticals should have different expectations -- and that mobile banners see more clicks than standard banners on the PC-based internet.

In July 2010, MediaMind released statistics from 2009 showing that mobile banners beat standard banners in both clicks and conversions for automotive campaigns. Now, the higher click-through rate (CTR ) for mobile banners can be extended across verticals.

MediaMind found that the average CTR on mobile banners on their network was 0.61 percent. That was more than eight times as high as the CTR for standard online banners in advertising campaigns that also had at least one mobile ad.

Campaigns for the entertainment industry demonstrated the highest mobile banner click-through rates, at 1.04 percent, followed by retail industry mobile banners, at 0.84 percent. Apparel, electronics and automobile ads had the lowest level of engagement.

The research also showed click rates varied by mobile operating system. iPhone and iPad users were significantly more likely to click on mobile banners than those with an Android device or BlackBerry. It's not clear why there's a difference -- perhaps additional research may uncover the reason(s) why.

Furthermore, if successful ad engagement barely tops one percent of the total ad impressions, then perhaps marketers need to seriously consider the alternative -- and more effective -- ways to reach their customers and prospects via mobile media. The notion of celebrating "slightly less advertising avoidance" seems misguided.