Ads impact mobile device users

08 June 2012

NEW YORK: Nearly half of US tablet and smartphone users believe the advertising they have been exposed to via these channels has influenced their purchase decisions.

Prosper Mobile Insights, a unit of research group BIGinsight, and Survey Sampling International, the panel provider, polled 331 people who owned slates or smartphones to gauge their habits.

Men typically displayed higher engagement levels with ads than women, as 38.2% of males regularly paid attention to this material when browsing the net, falling to 32.8% of females.

Moreover, 51% of men agreed ads on smartphones or tablets had in the past shaped purchases they made, declining to 43.7% for women.

"While men are more likely than women to pay attention to mobile ads, they are less likely than their female counterparts to use smartphones and tablets for shopping-related activities," said Pam Goodfellow, BIGinsight's consumer insights director.

Overall, 74% of contributors had previously "fully paid attention" to ads while surfing the web, with 35.3% "regularly" doing so, and 38.7% "occasionally" engaging with these messages.

Elsewhere, 59.5% of interviewees frequently noticed the advertising contained on social networks. More specifically, 26.9% often consciously looked at these ads, and 32.6% sometimes did the same.

Totals on this measure hit 55.2% when downloading apps, music and other content, again meaning a majority of the target audience positively registered advertising exposures at least at certain times.

When watching online video, potentially a more immersive pastime, only 15.1% of the sample consistently consumed ads with a high level of attentiveness, and 38.1% sometimes did.

Another 52.8% of interviewees reported making active assessments of advertising material when shopping on mobile devices, with 18.7% frequently connecting with communications in this way.

Among online gamers, 50.8% noticed ads while they were playing, compared with 49.2% that never registered their presence.

The greatest number of consumers, some 63.7%, did not engage with ads when watching full episodes of TV programmes online, whereas only 13.3% of this audience were immersed with these ads.

A 29.3% share of males had paid for an ad-free version of an app, versus 26.4% of women. However, 46.2% of respondents would not be willing to meet a fee to avoid advertising on social media.

Data sourced from BIGinsight; additional content by Warc staff