Smartphone Users Responsive To Ads

by Erik Sass, Aug 31, 2012 for Online Media Daily

Users at the point of purchase see ads delivered to their mobile devices, and get free WiFi access in exchange for their attention, and hopefully business.

A large majority of smartphone owners use their devices to consume digital content, including media

and information, according to a new survey by Frank N. Magid Associates for the Online Publishers Association, titled “A Portrait of Today’s Smartphone User.” A growing number of these people have seen and responded to mobile advertising delivered to their device.

Overall, the OPA-Magid online survey of 2,540 people ages 8-64, conducted in March of this year, found that 44% of the U.S. Internet population age 8-64 owns a smartphone. Within this group, 93% said they regularly access content and information, with 59% saying they access the Internet, 58% checking email, 47% checking weather information, 31% watching video, 29% accessing local news and 24% accessing national news.

Within the group

that consumes content on their smartphones, 39% (or around 36% of all smartphone users) say they have responded to mobile advertising.

[Editor’s note: Proximity (Location Based) advertising to attract mobile users who are right at the point of sale, in store, shopping malls, food courts, airports, conventions, hotels – are more likely to pursue immediate POS opportunities.]

Asked about their activities in the six months leading up to the survey, 15% of smartphone users who consume content on the phone have clicked on an ad, 12% have used a special offer or coupon, and the same proportion have made a purchase either on a PC or at a store after seeing a mobile ad.

Interestingly, ad response rates were higher among smartphone users who have paid for content. One out of four U.S. smartphone owners (24%) have paid for digital content, according to the OPA survey, with 22% paying for video, 21% for entertainment, 21% for books, and 19% for weather content. Within this group, 79% have taken some action after seeing an ad, with 31% clicking on an ad, 30% using a special offer or coupon, 27% making a purchase on a PC, and 24% making a purchase at a store as a result of seeing a mobile ad.

People who paid for smartphone content were also more likely to have positive attitude toward mobile advertising, with 29% saying smartphone ads are eye-catching, 26% saying they’re relevant, and 25% saying they are unique and interesting, compared to 17%, 15%, and 14%, respectively, for smartphone content consumers in general.

In June, the OPA released the results of a similar survey about tablet users, which also revealed relatively high engagement with advertising and brand-related content. In that survey, 29% of tablet owners said they have researched a product in the previous six months, while 23% said they clicked on an ad, 20% used a special offer or coupon and 19% visited a product Web site.

Thirty-seven percent of tablet owners said ads delivered via the device were “hard to ignore,” 33% called them“eye-catching,” 29% said they were unique and interesting and 28% thought they were relevant. Twenty-seven percent said they were motivated to purchase a product by tablet advertising, and 26% were motivated by ads to research products.

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