Rewards-Based Mobile Ads Perform Best, Per Study

Data shows that consumers demand value

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SessionM, in conjunction with researcher Millward Brown, is releasing a study today stating that consumers react positively twice as often to mobile ads when they get something valuable, relevant and/or engaging in exchange for their time. Smartphone users in particular will click mobile banners if there's a gift card, coupon, events tickets or loyalty points—in that order—on the other side.

Additionally, consumers want to know what the reward is going into the experience. In other words, mobile marketers must differentiate themselves from black-hat outfits by being extremely transparent in their ad presentation. In fact, 76 percent of consumers surveyed in the SessionM-Millward Brown effort said the way mobile ads are presented was crucial to their reactions.

And while brands' mobile strategies need to be nuanced, admitted Lars Albright, CEO of SessionM, he said "the questions are, 'What value am I bringing to the consumer?' And, 'How am I doing it?'" 

Such are the core "reciprocity" findings from SessionM, a mobile ads firm, and Millward Brown, a division of WPP's Kantar, as they looked at reactions to a mix of in-app and mobile web ad campaigns. While the study's top-line takeaways aren't earth-shattering, the companies offer a set of intriguing stats from their recent, three-month research project that involved 1,000 consumers in a digital survey, as well as a dozen participants who sat for hour-long interviews:

– 93 percent of those surveyed said having the opportunity to choose a reward in exchange for their smartphone time was "important;"

– when SessionM's clients employed the value-relevancy-engaging strategy, such campaigns outperformed those that did not utilize the same concepts in terms of brand awareness (+13 percent), ad awareness (+63 percent), message association (+26 percent), brand favorability (+21 percent) and purchase intent (+22 percent);

– while comparing rewards-based mobile ads versus different types of on-the-go promos, the former beat the latter for brand interaction (+14 percent), subsequent web searches for the brand (+8 percent), in-store shopping for the brand (+6 percent), branded website traffic (+13 percent), purchase consideration (+6 percent) and visiting the brand's social media pages (+5 percent).

Lastly, while a lot of industry players point to location as the key to mobile's future, Joline McGoldrick, research director at Dynamic Logic, Millward Brown’s digital practice, spoke about how interest-level marketing can be a huge help to the space.

"Targeting is getting better in mobile," McGoldrick said, "but it is still not perfect."

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.
Publish date: June 17, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT