The 3rd Annual U.S. Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study released by xAd (a leading global location ad platform) and Telmetrics (the leading call measurement technology provider) at the end of July revealed mobile ad engagement has increased dramatically among mobile shoppers since 2013. About 50 percent of the 6,000 U.S. smart device (smartphones and tablets) users surveyed said mobile ads were informative or helpful, up 113 percent from 22 percent in 2013. Forty percent of users reported clicking on ads and nearly half of them took secondary actions involving visiting the referred website and searching for more information. The results of this survey indicate the importance of showing mobile ads in mobile applications.
According to the study, mobile ad perceptions saw a positive and critical change as consumers started relying more on their mobile devices and ads advanced to provide consumers with value. The major findings of the study are as follows.
- Consumers have become more receptive to ads because they have become aware that ads support free content. Most respondents – up to 31 percent more since 2012 – preferred a free website with ads to paying for an ad-free subscription.
- Relevancy of the mobile ad was found to be the major factor influencing ad engagement as more than 40 percent of the respondents said they clicked on an ad due to its relevancy to their interests or purchase research. Though coupons plays a big part in clicking ads and engaging with a brand post-click, more than half of those surveyed said location was an important ad relevancy factor, up 44 percent over the last two years.
- The secondary actions taken by consumers post-click strongly indicate their purchase intent, says the study. Half of the consumers who clicked the ad want to purchase within an hour and 70 percent make the purchase. Their actions also closely correlated with proximity expectations – 67 percent of them wanted a business within 5 miles while 18 percent wanted locations within 1 mile.
- Mobile ad engagement also closely tied to contacting a business. Around 57 percent of mobile shoppers who clicked the ads and 61 percent who took secondary actions after clicking the ads prefer ads showing a direct phone number for calling the business.
- It was found that household decision makers having buying power were more lucrative mobile ad targets. Consumers belonged to 35-44 age groups as well as higher household income users were 26 percent more likely to click on mobile ads and take secondary action. The sharing of mobile ads across social networking channels was common among 35-44 year olds.
Overall, the survey shows that businesses need to understand how consumers engage with their devices during purchase decisions in a day to serve relevant, engaging and effective mobile ads while designing a website or developing applications for mobile devices. Online advertisers should also benchmark the performance of their mobile ad programs against purchasing trends. The relevancy of ad programs with deals and location context should be improved as well to increase ad traction.
The financial reports of Twitter and Facebook show just how important mobile ads are for marketing your products or services on social media. Twitter’s second quarter 2014 financial summary revealed that around 81% of their ad revenues came from mobile ads while the same kind of report from Facebook shown mobile was the reason for their 62% of ad revenues. Facebook’s device targeting for ads and Twitter’s mobile app promotion suite show that these social platforms are focused on helping users target the right people with the relevant message. So extend your reach by targeting new customers and engaging existing users by making your ads show up on mobile apps.