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UK brands up their mobile game

News, 02 April 2015

LONDON: Over 80% of the top 250 brand advertisers in the UK have a mobile optimised site, but 10% are running mobile display campaigns without one, a new industry audit has revealed.

According to the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB), a digital trade body, brands are improving their overall mobile offer to consumers, but there are still some gaps in the services and particular sectors are performing better than others.

For example, a full 94% of auto brands have a mobile optimised site – as do 87% of travel brands and 72% of FMCG brands – but the retail sector is lagging behind.

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Only 32% of retailers have a transactional app, up by just 2% since 2013, and this does not compare well considering that more than two-thirds (68%) of the top advertisers in the UK have an app.

However, supermarket chain Tesco stands apart in the retail sector and is identified by the IAB as being one of an elite group of "star performing brands" that scored eight points or more when measured against ten KPIs tested in February.

Among the KPIs on the IAB's checklist are whether a brand has a mobile friendly site (either a separate mobile site or responsive web design on its main site), if the paid search link pushes through to an optimised site, or if a brand's paid search is optimised for mobile.

The IAB classed Disney, toymaker Lego and Spanish automaker Seat as star performers for their mobile optimisation and other arrangements.

Overall, nearly 70% of the top 250 UK advertisers are optimising their paid search for mobile and in the past 12 months three-quarters of them ran a mobile display campaign, according to the report.

However, some brands have no mobile presence at all and, taken sector by sector, this applies to 9% of FMCG brands, followed by travel and retail (7% each), social and political organisations (6%) and tech brands (5%).

Commenting on the report, the IAB's senior mobile executive Mike Reynolds, said: "The audit shows that brands are finally putting mobile as a top priority, which is great to see.

"There are still some gaps though, especially when you consider that brands are spending their budgets on mobile advertising. However, their shop fronts still aren't optimised for mobile.

"Over the next 12 months, I foresee that brands that have achieved the basics of mobile will focus on building on the quality of their mobile presence."

Data sourced from IAB UK; additional content by Warc staff