Media agencies and ad buyers see mobile as the most effective channel to reach and engage users, as well as deliver the best ROI, researchers have found.

A survey carried out on behalf of Fyber, a mobile advertising specialist, quizzed a mix of 500 media agencies and brands across eight sectors in the US, UK, Germany and France about attitudes to and plans for mobile ad campaigns.

Overall, the results showed both agencies and buyers regard mobile as the most effective channel for engagement, Fyber said, with in-app ads delivering the best results across a range of measurements, including ROI. As a result, 77% of brands have asked their media agencies to buy in-app inventory.

Media agencies said they viewed in-app ads as more reliable than web browsing ads, with almost a third saying better user engagement was the stand-out benefit. And brands broadly agreed, citing better targeting capabilities for in-app ads compared to mobile web, OTT and desktop.

Most significantly, agencies and brands said in-app ads could lift the ROI of campaigns by an average of 41%.

“Mobile devices are the consumer’s primary means of access to the internet, and close to 90% of time on mobile devices is spent in apps,” noted Yoni Argaman, SVP for Marketing and Corporate Strategy at Fyber. “So, it’s no surprise that the mobile in-app inventory is of growing interest to media buyers and brands.

“It’s gratifying that agencies and brands are reporting better targeting capabilities, an issue that has long stymied ad spend in the channel,” he added. “With higher ROI and engagement levels, media buyers now regard in-app inventory as a key conduit to their target audience.”

Survey respondents said in-app ads would account for 43% of advertising budgets within the next five years, up from 34% at the moment.

Gaming apps were especially liked, with 60% of all respondents citing their scale and reach, and 59% mentioning high user engagement. Playable, video, and opt-in ads were seen as the most effective in-app ad format.

Overall, 78% of those quizzed said they had already placed ads in gaming apps, with 91% of agencies and 87% of brands planning to place ads in game apps in the coming year.

However, in-app advertising still presents challenges to brands and agencies alike – 28% of brands and 35% of media agencies cited the difficulty of measuring an in-app campaign’s performance.

Sourced from Fyber; additional content by WARC staff