Mobile valuable, but underutilized by advertisers: study

While mobile devices are increasingly helping consumers fill in the blanks on everything from purchase decisions to news information, a prominent marketing expert says the platform is underutilized by advertisers. A new study from Montreal-based Say Media called “My Mobile is…” found that mobile ads drive consumers through the marketing funnel faster, while generating click-to-site […]

While mobile devices are increasingly helping consumers fill in the blanks on everything from purchase decisions to news information, a prominent marketing expert says the platform is underutilized by advertisers.

A new study from Montreal-based Say Media called “My Mobile is…” found that mobile ads drive consumers through the marketing funnel faster, while generating click-to-site rates between three and five times higher than standard online campaigns.

Say Media also analyzed 100 recent mobile campaigns – and close to 500 ad units – that have run on its network to determine which elements can make them more effective.

One of the key findings was that adding video and other interactive features has a marked impact on time spent with mobile ad units. For automotive ads tracked by Say Media, for example, there was a 28% increase in average time spent with units that featured video compared with non-video ad units. Technology advertising that incorporated video garnered a 32% increase in time spent.

Matt Devlin, digital director for PHD Canada, characterized consumer adoption of mobile as “intense,” but noted in the report that the opportunities for mobile advertising are “significantly outpacing” advertiser adoption.

Devlin said that modifying online campaigns for mobile has been “very effective” for PHD clients. He predicted that when marketers begin to take advantage of common smartphone tools such as location finders and accelerometer, there be even bigger breakthroughs in the mobile marketing space.

Say Media also partnered with comSore to field a custom survey of 1,209 smartphone or tablet owners, augmented by syndicated data from comScore’s MobileLens, Tablens and MobileMetrix. That was further augmented by consumer interviews, 30 one-on-one interviews with agency and marketing professionals, and five one-on-one interviews with cross-platform publishers.

The study found that 61% of smartphone/tablet owners tend to research a product on their mobile device before making a purchase decision, while 37% validate a price at point-of-sale.

In addition, nearly half of respondents said they have redeemed an offer via a mobile device, while 44% said they have purchased items and 30% have made a payment through a mobile app like Square or Levelup.

One third of those surveyed said they have recorded exercise (55% of persons aged 18-24) and food intake, taken meeting notes and tracked finances and other day-to-day expenses on their device.

Content consumption via mobile devices is also skyrocketing with 57% of surveyed mobile users regularly using apps such as Spotify and Pandora to stream music to their phones. In addition, 63% of users have watched or posted a video on their device. Men spend an average of five hours per week watching mobile video, compared with four hours per week for women.

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