On mobile: social users ignore ads, shoppers don't

Ronny Kerr · August 31, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/1e6f

New eMarketer research sheds light on the best way to advertise to mobile users

Well, this shouldn’t be all that surprising.

Smartphone users are much more likely to recall and engage with mobile ads while shopping, according to new data from eMarketer.

Almost two in three respondents reported having seen an advertisement while shopping and more than half of those said they actually clicked through. Interestingly, mobile users who are shopping are also the most likely to be doing so through their smartphone’s browser (73 percent) as opposed to an app (27 percent).

On the other end of the spectrum, of users who are “connecting,” which includes communicating with friends over voice, text, IM, email or social media, only 39 percent could recall an ad and half of those engaged with the ad.

Fascinatingly enough, these users also oppose shopping users in that the majority (69 percent) connect through apps instead of over the browser. This makes sense since email and social networking services are often visited via native apps instead of through mobile sites.

While all of this is extremely valuable data for marketers and advertisers, it’s also a bit disheartening because, according to research from Yahoo! and Ipsos, smartphone users only spend seven percent of their mobile time shopping. Oppositely--you guessed it--they spend 38 percent of their time connecting.

It makes sense: the mobile devices that preceded smartphones were originally intended to serve up communication and communication only. Perhaps users may eventually spend more time shopping on their smartphones as retail services in the browser and apps improves.

In between shopping and connecting, mobile users are doing a whole lot more activities. Activities in which they’re most likely to recall an ad include “informing,” “entertaining” and “searching.” And the categories with the highest engagement include “navigating,” “informing” and “managing.”

As a whole, the mobile advertising industry is expected to reach $4 billion in revenues by 2015, according to research from BIA/Kelsey published in June. That’s fivefold growth versus the $790 million in revenue reached in 2010.

In a separate report from July, comScore predicted that mobile ad spend would reach $2.5 billion by 2014, confirming an IAB survey saying that nearly three in four top-level brand marketers plan to increase ad spend.

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