Recently, Forrester Consulting showed off a study (reg. req’d), commissioned by Celtra, that argues that $0.55 of each dollar spent on mobile advertising is being wasted.  Not only this, but negative mobile ad experiences are hurting brand perceptions among consumers, unsurprisingly.

These particular findings and conclusions aren’t new, but regardless, it should be emphasized since mobile traffic is overshadowing the PC.  A majority of what is passing for mobile advertising is a perfunctory conversion of desktop ads.  In the report, there is no differentiation between mobile web and in-app ads .  This issue isn’t explored at all.

There were two studies that the Forrester study was based on.  The first polled 100 brand advertisers, while the other surveyed 1,000 adult smartphone owners in the US.  The digital ad budgets for every surveyed company exceeded $200 million.

Brand advertisers were initially asked about their goals: “What are your company’s primary business objectives for mobile advertising?” The top five responses, in order, were the following:

  1. Increasing brand awareness
  2. Increasing brand engagement
  3. Increasing brand favorability/ sentiment
  4. Increasing loyalty
  5. Driving customer lifetime value

In the report, it was found that “more than 66 percent of brand advertisers believe that at least half of their mobile advertising isn’t successful in achieving their goals.” In addition, the consumer survey found that more than 70 percent (73 percent) of the mobile advertisements seen “in a typical day fail to create a positive user experience.”

The top three consumer complaints about mobile ads were:

  1. Ads obscure content (e.g., pop-ups, takeovers)
  2. Ads are irrelevant
  3. Ads don’t load well

The 55 percent/$0.55 figure cam from a self-assessment by brands about their mobile campaigns.  What this means is these brands admit that they know their mobile ads aren’t working they way they want. Consumers value less disruptions more highly than “relevance,” whereas the two values had been in opposite positions with brands.

The preferred mobile ad format, according to this survey, was video:

These consumption habits should have an impact on the ad content that is delivered. In fact, 41% of consumers in the survey reported that video ads are the No. 1 type of ad they would most prefer to see or engage with, and brands recognize this as well.

According to the report, advertisers should be minimizing disruptive ad formats, putting a bigger focus on video ads, as well as investing more in developing mobile ad creative.  Finally, the suggest more “real-time and contextual” targeting in addition to demographic/audience targeting.

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