Which Types of Smartphone Ads Do Mobile Owners Believe Lead Them to Action?

August 4, 2014

xAdTelmetrics-Smartphone-Ads-That-Lead-to-Action-Aug2014Mobile device owners are developing more favorable attitudes to mobile ads, detail xAd and Telmetrics in a new report [download page], with almost half agreeing that they are informative/helpful, more than double the proportion feeling that way last year. And while many find the ads annoying/intrusive (56%), that figure is down from 63% last year. US tablet and smartphone owners surveyed for the report were also asked which types of smartphone ads they’d be most likely to click on and which would be most likely to lead them to action. The responses centered around two familiar themes: discounts; and relevance.

For respondents in the 18-24, 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54 age brackets, the type of ad most likely to lead to action is one that offers a coupon or promotion. That type of ad is also the one that the greatest share believe they are most likely to click on. The appeal of discounts and coupons was also found in a study of mobile offer types conducted late last year by Responsys, in which consumers who subscribed to mobile marketing from brands said that pricing-based offers were the most likely to sway them, with 66% saying they would likely trigger an action.

Meanwhile, older respondents to the xAd and Telmetrics study gravitate towards relevance, which earlier research has found to be a key element for mobile ads’ appeal. For respondents aged 55-64, a smartphone ads’ relevance is almost as likely to drive a click as a coupon/promotion, while for those aged 65 and older it’s more likely to do so. Similarly, when it comes to the types of ads most likely to lead to action, the 55-64 crowd gives equal weight to coupons and ads targeted to what they were searching for, while targeted ads take precedence among the 65 and older group.

So who’s engaging with mobile ads? According to the study, the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups are the most likely to click on ads and take secondary actions, while respondents making at least $100k are the most likely when sorted by income levels. Breaking down the responses by race and ethnicity, the study finds that blacks and Hispanics over-index in both ad clicks and secondary actions, while Asian Americans and whites under-index in clicks.

Overall, 7 in 10 respondents claimed to have noticed mobile ads during the prior 30 days, and about 4 in 10 of those clicked on an ad during that period. While a significant portion of those who clicked on an ad did so accidentally, the leading reason for clicking on an ad – among both smartphone and tablet users – was due to it being relevant to something they were interested in. Not surprisingly, then, the leading reasons for not clicking on ads were because respondents weren’t interested in the offering and because the ad wasn’t relevant to them.

While the xAd and Telmetrics study details improvements in mobile ad engagement, a recent MarketingCharts Debrief on ad effectiveness [download page] finds that few American adults believe smartphone or tablet display ads influence their purchases. As with the xAd research, the MarketingCharts study indicates that mobile ads have the largest influence on higher-income respondents.

About the Data: Results from the 3rd Annual U.S. Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study are based on data from an online survey of 2,000 U.S. smartphone and tablet users and actual observed consumer behaviors from Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics Panel of 6,000 Apple and Android users focused on the Automotive, Entertainment, Restaurant and Telecom categories.

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