Tablets, Smartphones Drive Engagement, Ad Response

Collage-Tablet-Smartphone-AConsumers are more responsive to ads on tablets than smartphones, but both devices are driving high levels of engagement with advertising and media, according to a new study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. The research found nearly half (47%) of tablet owners and a quarter of smartphone users interact with ads on their devices at least once a week.

The vast majority that clicked on ads was likely to take some action, including receiving a coupon (51%), research a product (49%) or making a purchase (46%). After coupons, ads featuring specific product searching, favorite brands, and location information were most likely to entice smartphone users to interact with them.

When it comes to mobile platforms, the study found iOS users trumped Android device owners in ad responsiveness. People using iPhones and iPads were more likely to make a purchase than Android-based users.

The findings, presented Monday at the IAB’s Mobile Marketplace conference, were based on a survey conducted by ABI Research of 552 U.S. adults who use a smartphone with data service at least once a week, and 563 corresponding tablet users. The sample was split evenly by gender and covered those18 to 65+.

The study also emphasized that mobile no longer means merely “on-the-go,” with virtually all tablet and smartphone owners using their devices at home—the most common place for mobile activity. Tablets are viewed mainly as media consumption devices;  smartphones are considered “mission-critical” tools that 70% won’t leave home without.

The increased content consumption via mobile is coming at the expense of traditional media, especially on tablets. Almost a quarter (24%) of tablet owners said they’re watching less TV, and 32% said they’re reading less print news or magazines. (At the same time, 14% are watching more TV, and 17% reading more print material.) For smartphones, 15% and 19% have cut back on TV viewing and print reading, respectively.

Nearly one-third of mobile device owners (30% smartphone users, 32% tablet users) said they were likely to respond to ads related to their current location. But that typically refers to home rather than outside. Some (48%) of smartphone users and 59% of tablet users regularly conduct local searches on their devices while at home in front of the television set, the study noted.

Also, early morning stood out as a key social media time, with 28% going on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites on soon after waking up.

The study had promising findings relating to m-commerce, with 70% of smartphone users making purchases on their devices, and 80% of tablet users doing so. The latter were more likely to make spend more, with 22% spending $50 or more per month compared to 14% of smartphone users. Almost half (46%) of tablet owners spend $20 or more per month through the devices.

The IAB study showed men were more likely to respond to ads on tablets and more frequently, and more willing to pay for high-end products (37% versus 22% for women). On both smartphones and tablets, women demonstrated a stronger bias towards social media. They also showed more interest in getting bargains (69% vs. 53% of men) and ore likely to be multitaskers.

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