Mobile ad campaigns 5 times more effective than online: InsightExpress study
By Dan Butcher
February 5, 2010
Mobile is taking online to the cleaners
Digital marketing research firm InsightExpress found that mobile ad campaign norms were four-and-a-half to five times more effective than online norms.
The Mobile InsightNorms study measured unaided awareness, aided awareness, ad awareness, message association, brand favorability and purchase intent. The study included a comparison of mobile media types and verticals to the effect of online advertising, and these findings continue to show the power of mobile as an advertising channel.
“Mobile continues to prove that it is an effective advertising medium,” said Joy Liuzzo, senior director of marketing and mobile research at InsightExpress, Stamford, CT. “Now, when we’re able to look at performance by the type of mobile advertising technology, we understand the strength even more.
“Far from being a one-trick pony, mobile is effective in rich environments like mobile video, minimal environments like SMS and the area in between covered by mobile display,” she said. “Add to this the findings that all verticals are seeing mobile impacts greater than online campaigns and the arguments for not adding mobile to a media plan fall away.”
InsightExpress is a provider of digital marketing research specializing in the measurement of advertising effectiveness across online, mobile and other media.
Joy Cicman Liuzzo is director of marketing and mobile research at InsightExpress
Mobile vs. online
The study used norms developed in online ad testing as a benchmark to draw conclusions around the performance of advertising on mobile devices.
InsightExpress compared mobile and online using InsightNorms, the company's normative database containing more than 1,000 online ad effectiveness campaigns and 100-plus mobile ad effectiveness campaigns.
Mobile InsightNorms are based on InsightExpress' flagship mobile brand effectiveness platform, Mobile AdInsights, which employs a test/control design to measure the brand impact of mobile advertising campaigns.
Ms. Liuzzo said that online campaigns continue to offer exceptional reach, flexibility and variety.
However, the high levels of engagement, the explosion in technical capabilities, low levels of clutter and the novelty of mobile advertising all likely contribute to increased brand impact, according to InsightExpress.
A comparison of three different mobile media types—mobile Internet, SMS and mobile video—revealed that the mobile Internet is the current powerhouse.
Mobile Internet campaigns resulted in increases of 9 percentage points for unaided awareness, 9 percentage points for aided awareness and 24 percentage points for ad awareness.
SMS is also effective at increasing upper level purchase funnel metrics such as awareness measures.
SMS campaigns generated increases of 5 percentage points for unaided awareness, 10 percentage points for aided awareness and 18 percentage points for ad awareness.
Mobile video is still emerging, but shows campaign impact on par with SMS across most key brand metrics.
This channel drove especially strong results against brand favorability.
With an increase of 13 percentage points, compared to 12 percentage points for Mobile Internet and 7 percentage points for SMS, mobile video is demonstrating promise as a way to move the important brand favorability measure.
The analysis next examined mobile brand metric norms by vertical—consumer packaged goods, entertainment, automotive, travel, technology and retail—to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the campaigns, once again comparing mobile norms to online norms.
Per the study:
Mobile CPG purchase intent effect is three times higher than online CPG purchase intent.
Mobile entertainment purchase intent effect is four times higher than online entertainment intent.
Mobile travel purchase intent effect is five times higher than online travel purchase intent.
Mobile technology purchase intent effect is seven times higher than online technology purchase intent.
Mobile automotive purchase intent effect is four times higher than online automotive purchase intent.
Mobile retail purchase intent effect is eight times higher than online retail purchase intent.
“This has more to do with how retail is performing online,” Ms. Liuzzo said. “What this tells me is that retail campaigns should absolutely be including mobile as part of their strategy to reinforce their online efforts.”
Ms. Liuzzo said that the effect that mobile campaigns have on key brand metrics proves that mobile continues to move quickly from supporting player to co-starring role in the digital advertising universe.
All about engagement and context
Mobile advertising’s greater effectiveness when compared to online advertising is due to several factors.
Mobile has the advantage over online when it comes to the engagement people have with the device and the environment the ads are being served in.
“We’ve discussed for a while now our findings about how engaged people are with activities on their mobile device, oftentimes more engaged than when they are doing these same activities on their computer,” Ms. Liuzzo said.
“The environment, or context, the ad is displayed in weighs in with a lack of clutter on the page, typically only one ad in sight at a time, and ad units that are proportionally larger to the screen,” she said. “These two elements merge into one powerful medium for advertising.”
While it may not have been reflected across the board in their 2009 mobile spends, brands and agencies are aware of this trend.
“In conversations we’ve had, brands and agencies tell us they are using these results to educate up their clients, their bosses,” Ms. Liuzzo said.
“Mobile is also being brought up sooner in the strategy-planning process, leading to more integrated campaign efforts and quite honestly, better mobile and online results,” she said.
Related content: Research, InsightExpress, Joy Liuzzo, Mobile InsightNorms, mobile advertising, online advertising, display advertising, mobile video, mobile Internet, mobile Web, WAP, SMS, text messaging, consumer packaged goods, CPG, Entertainment, Automotive, Travel, Technology
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