Mobile Drives Direct Response for Other Ad Channels

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The FINANCIAL — The US is still several years away from seeing a smartphone in every pocket, but the rise of mobile and the fast adoption of smartphones have led to many consumers going everywhere with their very own direct-response tool.


With the device, they use calls to action from other media to get more information—and sometimes even make a purchase—immediately, wherever they are.

As the habit of pulling out a phone to respond to ads takes hold, some media are enjoying faster uptake than others. According to March 2012 research from Google, conducted by Ipsos MediaCT and TNS Infratest, 43% of smartphone owners used their device to search in response to television ads at least monthly. Nearly as many, 40%, searched in response to ads they saw in stores.

Searching based on magazine ads and out-of-home ads like posters was less common, but seems likely to increase as smartphone owners get more and more used to pulling out their device to get information—increasingly prompted in these media by 2-D barcodes, as well.

Typically, respondents reported researching products on their smartphone while either at home (58%) or generally “on the go” (43%), followed by in a store (31%), making retail locations the No. 1 single out-of-home place for smartphone owners to take action.

Meanwhile, the locations of online ads noticed on mobile devices shifted between July 2011 and March 2012 toward a greater emphasis on general website ads as well as in-app ads. Respondents were somewhat less likely to notice ads in March on search engines or on retailer websites.

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According to eMarketer , these shifts are part of a maturing mobile ad market, which eMarketer estimates will reach $2.6 billion in the US this year. Such ads have so far enjoyed click rates higher than those on desktop websites, a fact many have chalked up to their novelty. As that novelty continues to wear off, smart marketers will look to mobile’s potential for generating responses to ads in other channels as well as within mobile advertising itself.



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