Marketer Perceptions of Mobile Advertising

IAB and Ovum Reveal the Inside Track on Mobile Advertising in the U.S.

Ovum has conducted a ground breaking survey among marketers at 300 US companies to provide a unique insight into mobile advertising from a buyer perspective. The survey was conducted on behalf of the IAB’s Mobile Marketing Centre of Excellence with the aim of helping its members and the wider industry to understand better how mobile advertising and marketing is perceived by the budget holders for these products and services. The survey only involved companies that use mobile advertising and the results presented in this report are positive, challenging and often surprising.

Marketers in Tune With Benefits of Mobile Advertising

Mobile as an advertising channel has many appealing elements and what stands out from our survey is that this is understood and appreciated by marketers, with immediacy (57%), cost effectiveness (54%),increased engagement (52%) and reach (49%) flagged as top priority benefits by respondents. Mobile undoubtedly offers huge reach for advertising and in North America alone Ovum estimates there will be 335.44 million connections by the end of 2011 rising to 391.84 million by the end of 2016.

Another attractive aspect of mobile advertising is the potential for high engagement and personalization.Every mobile device is linked to an individual and is always on hand, meaning that connected devices are accessible through all the hours of the media day and have great immediacy. Mobile is a communication channel and as such is highly interactive and is effective in adding interactivity to other media that are not interactive in themselves. Mobile also presents opportunities for better alignment of the advertising message with its intended audience.

Marketers in our survey have clearly embraced mobile advertising with 31% of respondents saying it is part of their digital advertising strategy and fully integrated with other media, while 20% have it as core albeit not automatically integrated with other media. Fourteen per cent of respondents use mobile on a more ad hoc basis while 35% are at an earlier phase were they are still experimenting with mobile advertising, although as our survey revealed this can be on a large scale and involve significant investment. In fact the budgets being allocated to mobile advertising are in a very healthy state with28% of respondents saying their companies currently spend $50-$150,000 per annum on mobile advertising with 7% allocating in excess of $300,000 per annum. Fifty-five percent of respondents are at the lower end of the budget spectrum spending under $50,000 a year on mobile advertising.

But There Is Still Work To Be Done

Mobile advertising is advancing rapidly and many of the issues that slowed progress in early years have been addressed, for example constraints imposed by network and mobile phone limitations have radically improved through developments in, respectively, mobile broadband and smartphones. The survey results confirmed that mobile advertising has made solid progress but we also wanted to find out which areas were seen by marketers as challenging, which in turn enables us to identify where they require support and guidance. The mobile advertising issues of highest concern to marketers are consumer privacy (40%) device operating system fragmentation (39%) and lack of standardised metrics (31%).

The survey revealed that marketers are in general happy with results achieved by mobile advertising across a range of key objectives – the majority of respondents were reasonably satisfied with mobile advertising’s ability to deliver on increased engagement (59%), increased brand awareness (58%), customer relationship marketing (57% and driving sales (54%). This is positive but we would like to see performance improved to the point that marketers are completely delighted with the results, an ambitious goal but one that we are confident the industry can achieve with the IAB’s ongoing support.