Mobile Targeting Still Lags

For all of the hoopla surrounding mobile ad targeting, advertisers are treading carefully, according to a report from mobile network Millennial Media. The number of advertisers using targeted audience-reach methods grew only 3 percent quarter over quarter, according to the report. But of the campaigns that did employ targeting of some type, local market was by far the most active with a 24-percent growth quarter over quarter. More than half of mobile advertisers continue to aim their campaigns at the broadest audiences.

Although advertising dollars are still not commensurate with the amount of time consumers spend with their mobile devices, which has increased 50 percent since 2008,  mobile ad spending grew more than 100 percent, year over year. In the retail and restaurants vertical alone, growth topped 1300 percent.  Additionally, mobile advertisers are spending more on individual campaigns. The number of mobile ad campaigns costing more than $250,000 grew 200 percent year over year.

The ways in which advertisers interact with mobile consumers have broadened, and the frequency with which those methods are employed has increased. Post-click actions of every type increased. Mobile advertisers are making use of social media to extend a campaign’s life and messaging. According to the report, 18 percent of all mobile ad campaigns invited consumers to engage with the brand on Facebook, Twitter or another social media channel. Social media as a post-click campaign action grew 157 percent, year over year. As smartphone penetration has grown, advertisers have continued to develop that make use of device capabilities to both connect with and entertain consumers. Advertisers-developed applications downloads grew 31 percent, quarter over quarter.

But not all consumers need to be seduced with the bells and whistles of apps and videos in order to be convinced to make a purchase. M-commerce represented 12 percent of all post-click campaign action. And that’s a 30-percent quarter-over-quarter increase in purchases that originate on mobile devices, which seems to indicate that consumers are quickly overcoming whatever initial reluctance they may have felt about ordering merchandise while using a mobile handset.

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