IAB Mobile Research Finds that Tablets Are Most Engaging for Advertising

Among mobile consumers of traditionally print media, tablet users are most easily engaged with advertising, according to a new research report “Mobile’s Role in the Consumer’s Media Day.” The report, released Monday (July 16)  by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, examines several key factors in mobile media consumption and consumers’ advertising engagement on these different mobile platforms.

Not only do media consumers prefer the tablet over the smartphone for print- and video-based content,  but they also have a stronger degree of ad interaction on the tablet as well. The report finds that nearly half (47%) of respondents say they engage with ads on that device more than once a week.

The numbers aren’t exactly bad for smartphones, though. Given that smartphone users consider that device to be mission-critical for their day-to-day lives, with 70% saying that they “never leave home without it,” it is a promising finding that 25% of smartphone users ay they interact with ads more than once a week.

After coupons, specific product searching, and favorite brands, location is the fourth most important factor enticing smartphone users to interact with ads. Location is far less important for tablet users who identify the sites they visited, apps they used, fun activities and daily routine as bigger factors than location when clicking on ads.

With regards to location, however, the report points out that “Mobile” does not necessarily mean “remote.” Nearly all smartphone and tablet users (91% and 97%, respectively) use their device at home – the most widely used location for mobile activity. This is interesting given that nearly 1/3 of mobile device owners (30% smartphone users, 32% tablet users) said that they were likely to respond to ads that related to their current location.
Once mobile device users engage with an ad, the report also finds that they are highly likely to take action (80% smartphone users, 89% tablet users) based upon the ad. . Fir smartphone users, the most common action (38%) is to investigate a product or service, followed by received a coupon (37%) and visited a local business (30%). Made a purchase ranks eighth on the list of actions (18%). For tablet users, making a purchase ranks third (46%), closely following received a coupon (51%), and investigated a product or service (49%).

The “Mobile’s Role in the Consumer’s Media Day” report also examines in depth how receptiveness to advertising and media consumption varies by mobile operating system, gender, age, and time of day, among other factors. To trigger engagement and action, the report suggests that marketers keep in mind the differences in the ways consumers use these mobile devices and tailor their messages and strategies accordingly.


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