Insights into Mobile Ad Responders

This headline grabbed a lot of attention yesterday: "61% of mobile users click on ads at least once a week." It was based on a survey conducted by InsightExpress at the behest of mobile ad network Mojiva. There are lots of interesting findings in the survey -- but it all must be taken with a grain of salt because the sample was very small (n=123) and respondents are not necessarily representative of the larger mobile population.

Roughly 75% of survey respondents were between 18 and 45 years old; 65% had incomes under $50,000; and only 17% had a college degree or higher. After groceries, the largest spending category was fast food/restaurants. 

In terms of devices:

  • 64% of respondents owned smartphones (42% said they had a desktop PC, 40% said they had a laptop)
  • 19% owned Android tablets
  • 9% owned iPads 

Now on to the main findings: 60% clicked on ads at least once a week, with nearly 20% doing so "several times a day."

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What's not clear is whether people think about search ads  in the context of "text ads."

Retail and then restaurants (I'm ignoring weather) were the top commercial categories motivating ad clicks.  

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In terms of post-click actions the following chart shows the activities that these respondents were most inclined to do. Somewhat surprisingly, for this modest income group, coupons are relatively low on the list at number six. 

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Again all these findings must be taken cautiously given the survey demographics and small sample size. 

A December 2010 survey by Harris on behalf of CPA/lead-gen company Pontiflex found that 47% of all mobile ad clicks were unintentional. This flies in the face of the data above but I wouldn't give it total credence either. 

By contrast Google produced survey findings (more consistent with Mojiva) showing that just over 80% of mobile users noticed mobile ads and almost half of those exposed to mobile ads took some form of action: 

  • 42 percent clicked on the ad
  • 27 percent contacted the business
  • 35 percent went to a related website
  • 49 percent made a purchase