Advertising guides mobile purchases

22 October 2014

GLOBAL: Mobile users around the world have an ambivalent attitude to advertising but a new survey shows that a majority admit they use it to make purchasing decisions.

A report on the mobile internet from mobile advertising network BuzzCity surveyed the attitudes to advertising of 5,100 respondents across 25 countries. This found that people frequently held favourable and unfavourable opinions at the same time – just as many had positive (60%) views of advertising as had negative (59%).

Despite these mixed emotions, over three quarters of mobile surfers (77%) said they had used advertising to make purchasing decisions. Nearly 1 in 4 (21%) did so on a daily basis, and almost 1 in 5 (18%) on a weekly basis. A further 20% acknowledged ads influenced purchase decisions sometimes, maybe monthly, while for another 18% it was only a few times a year.

"The mixed feelings mobile users have towards advertising indicate their high expectations as connected consumers" said KF Lai, BuzzCity CEO.

Those expectations included being timely and relevant. Around one third of respondents said that they saw the same ad too often (35%) and that there were too many ads (34%). And one in five (22%) felt the ads they saw were not relevant.

"If there is a threat to mobile advertising it will be advertisers' indifference to the consumer's wants," Lai suggested.

Accordingly, advertisers needed to vary the message and format of ads: the report recommended, for example, looking beyond banner advertising to other rich media and video formats.

And publishers also had a positive role to play here, selecting their advertisers in such a way as to minimise the annoyance and irrelevance of any particular advertisement.

For the future, Lai felt that advertisers would no longer be able to afford to work digital channels as independent media but would need an integrated digital approach across devices.

Data sourced from BuzzCity; additional content by Warc staff