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66pc of mobile searchers notice ads: study

August 8, 2012

Location and context are the key ingredients needed for a successful mobile advertising campaign, especially for marketers who are looking to drive in-store traffic, according to a new report by xAd.

The Mobile Path-to-Purchase study takes a look at how mobile and local specifically impact the travel, automobile and restaurant industries. XAd worked with Telmetrics on the study, which was conducted by The Nielsen Co.

“Mobile-local has especially strong implications in the travel, restaurant, and auto categories due to the sheer volume of local searches conducted by mobile users related to brands, products and services within each,” said Monica Ho, vice president of marketing at xAd, New York.

“Mobile users are hungry for content within these categories that relates to where they live, work and play,” she said.

“Through our research with Nielsen, we found that users interacting within all three categories on their mobile device are most interested in search results and advertisements that contain locally relevant information.”

Mobile relevance
The study is compiled from online surveys filled out from smartphone owners in the United States as well as information from Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics Panel.

The study points to how mobile users are action-driven. According to the research, 84 percent of mobile users searching for restaurant information said they wanted to make a purchase within one day. Of those users, 64 percent of smartphone and 44 percent of tablet users wanted to make a decision within an hour.

Restaurant searches also resulted in an 85 percent conversion, showing the opportunities for restaurants to incorporate mobile advertising to drive in-store foot traffic.

To compare, 35 percent of mobile searchers looking for travel information and 50 percent of users searching for automobile-related content said that they were looking to make a purchase decision in one day.

Fifty-one percent of the automobile-related mobile searches and 46 percent of travel mobile searches resulted in a purchase.

Although mobile commerce has quickly gained traction by marketers to let consumers buy things while on the go, an overwhelming number of mobile users are also interested in contacting a business and finding
directions, per the research.

For example, up to 73 percent of the mobile users surveyed said that they were looking for a business’ phone number. Similarly, approximately 84 percent of mobile searchers access a location or map.

“Marketers can take advantage of localization in two ways by utilizing accurate user location data to target
the most relevant audience; and by incorporating location into targeted ad creative in order to better engage your target audience and drive them toward some level of transaction,” Ms. Ho said.

Device trends
The study also looked at the differences between how consumers interact with smartphones and tablets.

Sixty-eight percent of smartphone owners said that they primarily used their devices while on the go.

Seventy-two percent of tablet users interacted with their devices mostly at home.

Tablet owners were drawn to brand Web sites to look up information with 48 percent of automotive, 51 percent of restaurant and 56 percent of travel users.

Additionally, 42 of mobile restaurant users went directly to a mobile site or app versus searching, showing how consumers are using mobile to carve out a few sites and apps that are used consistently.

Forty-nine percent of tablet travel users already knew about a site, and 44 percent of automobile mobile users were familiar with the brand.

Forty-five percent of smartphone users in the study go directly to mobile apps and sites instead of being directed via search.

Fifty-three percent of smartphone owners surveyed said that they used a local directory app. These apps are also popular with mobile users searching for automobile content with 34 percent of users.

With smartphone travel users, 47 percent use brand sites to access information.

“Our goal [with the study] was to educate the marketplace on the value that mobile brings and accelerate the education in these verticals to advertisers,” Ms. Ho said.

“Advertisers can’t take a one-size approach to mobile — you have to understand the behavior to best engage them,” she said.

“The faster we can get the local experience to mobile the better.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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