The New Normal: 76% Have Seen A Mobile Ad In The Last Month

How long ago was it that network operators and many marketers themselves openly anguished over whether mobile advertising would alienate consumers? Now, m-ads are the new normal. According to a new Mintel survey, 76% of U.S. mobile Web users say they have seen an ad on their devices in the last month. For younger users ages 18-24, the level of mobile ad awareness is much higher (91%) and among the 25-34 segment it is at 83%. That means that almost half of all cell phone owners (if you include the feature phone owners) now recall seeing mobile ads.

Mintel predicts that mobile ad expansion and media use will remain on an accelerated growth trajectory long beyond what is typical for emerging platforms. In the research, Senior Analyst Billy Hulkower observes: “Typically, nascent markets related to technology show slowing growth each year. However, in the case of mobile ads, consumers will still be acquiring their first smartphones and tablets through 2015, suggesting that sales growth deceleration will not occur at the same pace that would be seen for a hardware market -- instead, sales may accelerate further as the audience for mobile media expands.”

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In-app and banner ads are the most commonly seen units, according to the survey, with about half of the 18- to-34-year-old segment saying they have seen an ad in an app via a banner or in a game in the last month. Especially significant is the rapid proliferation of mobile video and audio advertising into the youth segment, with about 40% of the 18- to-34-year-olds saying they have seen or heard a multimedia unit in the last month. Mintel projects that ad penetration will continue to grow through 2014 as the “late adult” segments embrace mobile media.  

On the marketing side, for driving sales, coupons are emerging as an early force. Mintel finds 18% of adults saying they have redeemed a mobile coupon, which rises to 20% for households making over $100,000. 

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