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Smartphone users who are familiar with mobile ads appear to be comfortable making a purchase or recommendation as a result of an ad, but many others still haven't viewed a mobile ad, according to a survey from Hipcricket Inc.

Some 46% of surveyed smartphone owners have viewed a mobile ad; among them, 64% have completed at least one purchase as a result of doing so.

However, 74% of smartphone users say their favorite brands have not advertised to them via mobile:

Below, additional information from Hipcricket's Mobile Advertising Survey.

Among the key findings:

  • 58% of smartphone users say they'd be more likely to engage with their favorite brands if an ad included a reward, coupon, or deal.
  • 44% of smartphone users say they're willing to exchange personal information in return for a reward, coupon, or deal; however, to date only 28% have done so.
  • Among those who have made a purchase as a result of a mobile ad, 45% have referred a product or service to a friend or colleague.

Popular Ad Types

Mobile users have viewed and engaged with various types of mobile ads, primarily mobile banner ads (70%) and SMS/text-based ads (44%).

Mobile users' primary means of interaction has been clicking/tapping an ad (38%), followed by mobile coupon redemption (31%), clicking on a sponsored link in a text message (29%), downloading an application (28%), and viewing a mobile website (24%).

Demographic Differences

People tend to interact differently with mobile ads depending on income level, gender, and age.

Income Level

Affluent customers are more likely to have engaged with mobile ads:

  • 55% of those who have clicked on a mobile ad have an annual income of more than $75,000.
  • 29% of those who have clicked on a mobile ad have an annual income of more than $100,000.
  • 45% of those with an income of more than $75,000 have made a purchase as the result of a mobile ad.


Overall, men are more active with mobile ads:

  • Women expressed more interest in receiving mobile coupons (44% vs. 40% for men); however, men were more likely to redeem those coupons (35% vs. 27% for women).
  • Men were more likely to make a purchase as a result of a mobile ad (68% vs. 58%).
  • Men were more likely to refer a friend as a direct result of a mobile ad (52% vs. 37%).


The most interest and interactivity with mobile ads is among younger users. Among smartphone users age 25-34:

  • 70% have made a purchase as a direct result of a mobile ad.
  • 58% would be willing to provide personal information via a mobile website if offered a reward or coupon (twice as likely as those in the age 45-54 category).
  • 64% have not viewed a mobile ad from their favorite brand.

However, smartphone users age 35-44 year are the most interested in coupons and offers, with 63% reporting they'd be more inclined to engage with a mobile ad from their favorite brand if it included an offer or coupon.

Engaging Content Is Key

Among those who haven't engaged with a mobile ad, the reasons are varied: 43% say the ads weren't relevant to their interests and 39% simply say the ad "did not appeal to me."

Nearly one-third of smartphone users (31%) thought the ad was spam, whereas 21% were unsure of the source.

About the data: The 2012 Mobile Advertising Survey is based on a national survey of 650 mobile phone users conducted via email in June 2012.

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