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Brands Missing Out on Mobile Ad Opportunities


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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  • by Rishi Tue Aug 7, 2012 via web

    I think the issue with mobile ads is the lack of targeting options available. How is an advertiser supposed to reach their target market? Big brands with big budgets, while they can afford to target a broader audience through mobile ads, aren't sure that mobile is an effective platform to run non-direct response campaigns (many big B2C brands sell their products in-store, not online.)

    Additionally, most mobile ads are textual, preventing advertisers from "showing" their physical product (or their logo) to the customer. How is a customer supposed to make a connection between a textual ad and a in-store product? Mobile advertising still needs to develop, and I'm sure it will.

    Get access to all our mobile marketing cheat sheets including "8 Key Elements to Consider for Mobile Advertising" at

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