Local mobile ad network xAd has released its Q1 insights report. Like other such reports now in the market, it surveys trends and year-over-year changes observed on its ad network. This comes on the heels of xAd’s co-sponsored “Mobile Path to Purchase” report (with Telmetrics), based on Nielsen data.
That report had some truly striking findings. Chief among them: 46 percent of survey respondents said they relied exclusively on their mobile devices to conduct online research across a range of purchase categories. In other words: no PC usage.
The principal finding of the Q1 insights report is that more of the network’s brand advertising clients are using what it calls “geo-precise” targeting than a year ago. The percentage more than doubled.
While advertisers using xAd are already going to be more “location savvy” than others using more conventional ad networks, this shift to greater geo-precision reflects increasing sophistication among mobile advertisers about the use of location.
Among other findings, xAd also compared the top-spending mobile advertising categories of 2012 with Q1 2013. Financial services and telecom (carriers) top both lists.
The report includes comScore data, which shows the top US cities by smartphone and tablet penetration. These lists are somewhat surprising. Houston and Dallas have the highest smartphone penetration and Salt Lake City the highest tablet penetration. I’m quite skeptical of the accuracy of these particular data.
Finally, the xAd report compares ad performance on its network with mobile industry benchmarks. As one would expect, xAd says ads on its network do better than standard mobile search and display ads (as measured by CTR I believe).
One should see this in the context of how location or geotargeting increases ad relevance and improves performance of mobile advertising accordingly. In the Mobile Path to Purchase study, “location, offline offers and promotions” were found to be the top drivers of consumer response and engagement.