CORRECTED: Views mixed on mobile ads

29 November 2012

LONDON: Consumers in fast-growth economies are much more enthusiastic about mobile advertising than their counterparts in mature markets, according to research by Millward Brown.

The insights group polled over 6,000 wireless device users globally and found that overall 23% held favourable views of ads on mobile phones, with a high of 48% in Kenya and Nigeria, versus a low of 11% in Canada and the US.

An additional 29% had a complimentary opinion of tablet ads, peaking at 55% in Kenya and 51% in China, as well as 39% in Nigeria and 30% in China. Canada again logged the lowest ratings, on 9%.

Within the US, fully 49% of a wider panel of 1,000 people were positive about TV ads, up by two percentage points on 2009. Magazines lost three points here to 41% and cinema fell by eight points to 32%. Newspapers, however, gained six points, on 40%.

When discussing mobile specifically, deals and coupons were the most attractive type of marketing for 44% of US smartphone or tablet users, ahead of free tools – like those allowing them to make shopping lists – on 27%, the same score as information based on their interests.

Sending coupons or offers was the best way for a brand to improve its mobile image according to 34% of US subscribers, with good websites on 23%.

A further 27% stated they would be willing to share their location in exchange for relevant services and deals, a total reaching 25% for receiving targeted discounts and promotions in this fashion.

"There is significant untapped demand for mobile marketing that works," Joline McGoldrick, research director, of Dynamic Logic, which worked on the study, said. “Users have very high expectations for mobile marketing, and it is today, by and large, falling short."

After seeing mobile advertising, some 14% of US users had previously visited brand websites, while 10% searched for products, a 9% share had interacted with ads and 8% had looked for items in stores.

Some 46% of the same group were most likely to search for goods, visit mobile sites, follow brands on social media via their phone or download apps after hearing recommendations from friends and family.

Another 38% were likely to take one of these mobile actions in response to TV ads. Finding offerings in ecommerce stores recorded 38% here, beating the 37% for bricks and mortar outlets. Print ads registered 36% on this metric.

Overall, a 30% share of the US sample agreed they were "happy" to see advertising in apps if it guaranteed free access, a figure reaching 28% with reference to mobile websites.

Requesting too much information damaged brand perceptions on mobile devices for 46%, with sending unwanted marketing materials on 45%, the same score as not letting users opt out of ads.

  • This story was corrected on 30 November, 2012. The original erroneously stated that the sample was 800 people, rather than 6,000. The fourth and fifth paragraphs should have referred to the US only, which has now been changed. This is also the case for the 11th and 12th paragraphs.

Data sourced from Millward Brown; additional content by Warc staff