Mobile Devices and Advertising Intelligence: 4 Key Benchmarks


Advertisers have relied on demographics since the profession began – just watch any episode of the “Mad Men” TV series and hear about what ads certain demographics are likely to respond to. Today, however, we’re in the 21st century, and consumers are demanding relevancy. Advertisers need to respond by intelligently deploying ads to the right audiences, which means a whole new set of demographics based on the technology that’s rocked the advertising industry more than anything in recent history: mobile devices.

Traditional targeting is based on demographic profiles and assumptions based on previous purchase behavior. For example, an 18-24 year old consumer is likely to respond to different push notifications than a consumer in the 25-34 year-old range. The rise of smart devices creates a new set of demographics to consider: device demographics. Device demographics help bring an end to predictive targeting, delivering relevant ads based on a group to which they elect to belong. It’s a type of target marketing based not on any pre-determined group a consumer fits into (i.e. race or gender), but rather what mobile device they use and how they interact with content on that device.

Mobile advertising spend hit $1.6 billion in 2011 – a 149-percent increase over 2010 – and it’s catching the eye of marketers for one simple reason: It works. Given the rapid penetration of smart devices on the market, advertisers are questioning how they can best leverage this powerful technology to help achieve tangible business results. Below are four key benchmarks that they should consider to optimize device demographics and by extension, maximize ROI for their campaigns.

Likeliness to Respond (Purchase Intent)

The devices we use tend to shape our behaviors, therefore adding an extra layer of insight into click-through habits and preferences. Tablet owners, for example, are more receptive to ads viewed on their device than smartphone owners. They’re almost twice as likely to click on an ad for more information about the business and use or request a coupon through the ad (Nielsen Research, 2012). Since iPhone users are known to be disproportionately young and affluent, click-through rates for mobile Apple users in this demographic are typically higher. Technology today gives marketers access to a more complete consumer profile, enabling campaigns to be more tailored to consumer preferences and relevant to their needs. With this level of insight, marketers can reach those consumers who are not only most likely to respond, but most inclined to complete the purchase funnel cycle, from click to buy.

Preferred Ad Type

Mobile media is one of the fastest growing channels worldwide, and mobile video is quickly becoming marketing’s hottest medium – roughly one-quarter of mobile device owners state that they are more likely to view ads if there is an interesting video, and 20 percent prefer interactive ads. With this growth comes the opportunity to reach new audiences, or more effectively reach current audiences.  For example, mobile device research reveals that 34.8 percent of women trust display ads (banner or video) on mobile devices, while 29 percent trust SMS ads. It’s important to keep these statistics in mind when developing campaigns and selecting the right delivery method. Advertisers need to be careful about how they’re interrupting media viewing experiences on-the-go to make sure the ads are effective and not disruptive.

Consumer Preferences for Ad Content

Preferred ad type is one thing, but can mobile device technology really tell marketers about the content you preferred? Absolutely. By determining the types of social, gaming and utility apps consumers download and the content they view, marketers have a better understanding of users’ interest. In addition, the actual location of the device can be detected in real-time, so that the appropriate location-aware ad or content can be served. Location-based content is received much better, with an overwhelming 80 percent of mobile users preferring ads that are locally relevant. In fact, three-quarters of those consumers have taken action in response to a location-specific ad, according to a recent JiWire study.

What Ad Formats Will Be Viewed Best

Last week, Apple announced the availability of the iPhone 5, and that’s just the most recent example of a new, highly capable mobile device hitting the market. Each device that manufacturers release and update has a unique set of capabilities and limitations. Delivering content to an iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Android or the desktop requires careful planning upfront since consumers have come to expect content that appears and performs without latency or delay, regardless of how or where they are accessing it. For example, a video ad delivered to the high-definition screens of an Apple or Android device will not have the same level of impact as the same video delivered to a BlackBerry device that may not support the same video quality. Advertisers can now detect consumers’ devices and deliver the most relevant content, ensuring it displays correctly, regardless of screen size or orientation.


Using device demographics, marketers can take predictive targeting to a level not previously attainable. The more predictive the marketing spend, the greater the ROI. Mobile technology helps cut back on that lack of insight into ROI, enabling on-the-go insights so marketers are able to modify strategies in real-time as campaigns are still rolling out. Marketers will have to make technology changes that redefine how they create campaigns, how they’re targeting consumers and how campaigns are delivered to those consumers.


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