Starcom: Mobile Data Users Connecting To Ads In Other Media
That's among the key findings from the second phase of the agency's ongoing study of mobile consumer behavior and attitudes toward mobile advertising. Starcom released an initial set of research findings in January 2008 based on a survey of both light and heavy users of mobile data in Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco.
Among the earlier results was that while people are not averse to advertising on mobile devices, they object to the lack of relevant ads. Working with comScore on its latest round of mobile research, Starcom found 63% of mobile data subscribers are using mobile phones as a way to access ads or offers in other media.
"What's happening is the mobile device is becoming a gateway to further dive into brands or advertising to get more information about products being promoted," said Brandon Starkoff, senior vice president and mobile activation director at Starcom. That can range from billboard ads featuring mobile short codes to in-store promotions to print and TV advertising.
A study by the Mobile Marketing Association earlier this year showed that the Internet is the medium that advertisers are most often integrating mobile efforts with, at 70%. Trade shows and other promotional events were the next most popular, at 36%.
The latest Starcom research also found mobile data users are most likely to act on mobile ads for higher-end product categories, like automotive, electronics and computers. That wasn't so surprising given that mobile data users tend to be more sophisticated about technology and more affluent than average consumers.
Because mobile fits seamlessly into consumers' daily activities, Starcom advises marketers to develop ad strategies that tie into their behavior, especially through location-based services. "So if someone is searching for restaurants in a certain area you can have an ad pop up for a restaurant or bar in that location," said Starkoff.
Such location- and intention-based advertising is far more effective than the more common SMS text ad messages which mobile users find invasive. Starkoff said the agency has worked with client Research in Motion on a campaign that shows ads based on what type of device someone is using. An existing BlackBerry user might see an ad for an upgraded phone and showing nearby retail locations, while a Palm user might get an ad encouraging them to switch devices.
"We've already started to apple these learnings," said Starkoff, who added that mobile spending by clients had increased despite the economic downturn.
"Overall as an agency were seeing a really strong level of growth in spending in mobile and a lot of clients doing more testing," he said. "They're thinking of mobile as part of their overall plans as opposed to a separate line item."
He acknowledged that brands continue to vary widely in mobile budgets "from zero to $3 million," with technology and automotive clients tending to spend more than consumer packaged goods and financial services advertisers.