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Offers, Local Relevance Biggest Drivers Of Mobile Ad Clicks — Study
There’s been a lot of criticism of mobile advertising, and rightly so. Poor creative, tiny ad units, mistaken clicks and limited relevance have made mobile advertising a hit and miss medium — despite rapid revenue growth. Things are improving however.
A new study from Nielsen, xAd and Telmetrics, argues that smartphone and tablet users are becoming increasingly receptive to and engaged with mobile ads. The data are from the companies’ 3rd Annual U.S. Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study.
The findings are derived from a mix of survey responses and “on-device behavioral data from 6,000 U.S. smartphone and tablet users focused on the Automotive, Entertainment, Restaurant and Telecom categories.” There’s a wealth of information in the report. I’m going to highlight a few interesting findings.
Some key findings (verbatim from the document):
- Nearly 50 percent of mobile shoppers say mobile ads are informative/helpful, up 113 percent from 22 percent in 2013
- 40 percent of respondents report clicking on ads and nearly half of those take secondary actions such as viewing the referring website and searching for additional product information
- Consumers aged 35-44 years old as well as higher household income users 26 percent more likely to click on ads and then take secondary actions
- More than half of respondents say that location is an important ad relevancy factor
- The majority of respondents say they prefer a free website with ads over paying for an ad-free subscription
A majority of those surveyed felt that mobile ads were “annoying,” however the percentage who felt they were “informative or helpful” grew significantly since 2013.
Interestingly the groups who were most receptive to mobile ads or felt they were most helpful were those in the 35 to 64 age range. These individuals generally tend to have more purchasing power than either younger and older users. This finding is also somewhat contrary to the conventional expectation that millennials would be the most receptive to mobile advertising.
As a general matter the study found that individuals who clicked on ads were more inclined to purchase the item advertised. Roughly 40 percent of clicks were accidental. This is just one of several reasons why clicks should not be used as success or ROI metrics in mobile.
Most of those who intentionally clicked did so because they found the ad relevant to their general interests or were in active shopping mode (“relevant to what I was looking for”). Those who said they didn’t click weren’t interested in the ad content or the ad wasn’t relevant to them.
Just under half (47 percent) of those who clicked on a mobile ad took some form of secondary action. The following are the top secondary actions:
Thereafter, 71 percent of those who took secondary actions were “looking to make a purchase within the same day.” Beyond this, 88 percent of those who took some form of post-click action either bought something or planned to in the near future.
Finally, two key variables for those who engaged with mobile ads were offers and local relevance. Coupons or deals were more important to younger users. However local relevance became increasingly important to older mobile users.