Commentary

Deciphering Mobile Engagement

Although it depends on your approach, effectively engaging mobile users can be quite counterintuitive. Take the recent findings from mobile ad network AdTheorent, which show that -- at least when it comes to travel and tourism campaigns -- business apps delivered 519% higher engagement rates than entertainment apps. 

Is that because we as mobile consumers are far more willing to take a break from business content than something more entertaining? It’s possible, but one could just as easily assume that business users are busy with their tasks at hand, and in no mood for branded distractions. 

Then, take the finding that sports apps delivered 302% higher engagement than fitness apps. As a workout junkie, this data point is much easier to understand: The absolute worst time to interrupt me is mid-run or mid-set. 

Similarly, it’s not hard to comprehend why photo and video apps outperformed music apps -- by 87% -- in terms of engagement. In the mobile world, enjoying a photo or video is often a far quicker and less immersive experience than listening to music, and, hence, easier to break up with advertising. 

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AdTheorent -- which based its research on more than 177.7 million travel and tourism campaign impressions across its mobile ad network, earlier this year -- also found that mobile apps outperformed mobile Web sites in terms of engagement by 64%. 

Key attributes among the most engaged consumer segments of consumers included being female, single, and without children. 
Additional attributes included living in a household with an annual income of over $250,000, a propensity to take vacations abroad, and a predisposition for cruise ships.

This column was previously published in Moblog on August 18, 2015.

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