While desktop ads have historically had higher on-target percentages for reaching their intended audience than mobile, advertisers have made significant strides in closing the gap in recent years.
The performance of mobile ad campaigns has improved significantly over the past year, with mobile ads reaching their intended audience 60% of the time, according to Nielsen. That’s up from 49% during the same period last year, the measurement giant finds.
That puts the average on-target percentage for mobile campaigns on par with that of desktop campaigns, Nielsen finds.
When looking to reach broader audiences, desktop continues to hold a slight advantage over mobile in campaign performance. In campaigns geared toward people ages 18 to 49, mobile campaigns saw a lower on-target percentage compared with desktop campaigns -- 64% versus 70%, respectively.
Mobile campaigns were more effective in connecting with narrower audiences, according to Nielsen. This is likely because mobile devices are more personal in nature and less likely to be shared in the same way as viewing on other devices, the measurement firm suggests.
In campaigns aimed at people ages 18 to 34, mobile ads performed higher than those on desktop -- 63% compared with 53%, respectively.
Similarly, mobile campaigns intending to reach people 25 to 44 performed higher than desktop campaigns seeking the same audience -- 64% compared with 42%.
Generally, desktop campaigns have higher average on-target percentages with male audiences than with women. However, this trend is turned on its head when it comes to mobile ads, according to Nielsen.
In a marked contrast to desktop, mobile ad campaigns have greater success reaching women than men across most age brackets. Among those 18 to 49, mobile ad campaigns were able to reach 53% of women and 50% of men in the intended audience.
By contrast, desktop campaigns intended for this group reached 57% of men and only reached 45% of women.
Also of note, mobile’s ability to connect with women holds in more narrow audiences. Specifically, among people age 18-to-24, mobile ad campaigns reached 28% of women in the intended audience compared with 17% of men in the same group.
Nielsen’s findings reflect the average on-target percentage for nearly 40,000 domestic campaigns measured through the second quarter of the year.