February 27, 2013

Is mobile advertising working?

Written By Martin Sandhu

With so many people now choosing smartphones and tablets over their laptops advertisers have had to find new ways to get their products in front of their target audience.

But, worryingly a new Nielsen report found that 53% of UK smartphone users say they have never actually seen a mobile advert. The same survey found that 97% of the UK now owns a mobile phone with 61% of those being smartphones. And further data shows mobile advertising grew by 132% to £181.5m in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, now accounting for 7% of all digital ad spend. So, why is it that over half of the smartphone owners have never received an advert?

There are only really two answers to that question, the adverts are simply not there or the users simply aren’t seeing them. In either case, it’s not good!

Advertisers need to find a way to make mobile ads more noticeable. But it isn’t surprising that they aren’t as simple to master as other forms of digital adverting. The issues presented by mobile devices are unique, screen sizes vary enormously and making effective ads for such small screens is a difficult task. There’s also the variation in devices and operating systems and the very fact that mobiles devices feel much more personal to owners so adverts can feel more trusting.

There are certainly many examples of effective mobile advertising campaigns, particularly in the luxury car market and it is certainly not something to be written off…but it may still be a few years before mobile advertising really comes into its own.