Key Trends in Mobile Advertising

22 Jul,2014



Presenting key trends in mobile advertising based on actual standalone campaign and platform data from Millennial Media. The Scorecard for Mobile Advertising Reach and Targeting (S.M.A.R.T.)â„¢ delivers regular insights on key trends in mobile advertising .


Global Mobile Vertical Spending



Retail was the second largest vertical on our platform in Q1 as ranked by spend (Chart A). Typically, retailers spend about 3x more in Q4 than the rest of the year. This year, Q1 was a strong quarter for retail advertisers as well, spending 107% more than the same quarter the previous year (Chart B). Brands were looking to drive consumers into stores and online for great holiday closeout deals.


In Q1, Pharmaceuticals was the seventh largest vertical on our platform (Chart A), growing campaign spend 491% year-over-year (Chart B). Pharmaceutical advertisers ran mobile campaigns that drove consumers to landing pages where detailed drug information could be found.


Spend by advertisers in the Portals & Directories vertical was up 290% year-over-year on our platform (Chart B). Brands advertising in this vertical include browsers, app stores, and directories mobile users can install on their devices. These advertisers often leverage tactical targeting in their campaigns to make sure the device is on a compatible operating system.


In Q1, advertisers in the Energy & Power vertical grew mobile campaign spend by 270% (Chart B). Brands in this vertical often leveraged video in order to drive consumers to mobile sites that explained the many sides of the business, while creating positive brand awareness.


Global Mobile Advertiser Trends – Campaign Engagement Methods & Goals



Drive to Social Media actions were used in 8% of all campaigns on our platform in Q1 (Chart C). Entertainment advertisers, specifically Motion Picture Release brands, frequently leverage social media actions in order to drive consumers to a social site where they can see what other people are saying about a movie, and create buzz in order to entice ticket purchases.


23% of campaigns on our platform in Q1 included a Watch Video action (Chart C). This is nearly twice as frequently compared to the same quarter last year. Mobile video adoption has become an effective tool for advertisers to not just reach, but also engage their target audience through sight and sound.


Site/Mobile Traffic was the goal of 34% of mobile campaigns on our platform in Q1 (Chart D). Site/Mobile Traffic campaigns can have many purposes. For Restaurant advertisers, these campaigns were driven by “learn more” language offering consumers a view into new menus or updated interiors.


6% of campaigns on our platform in Q1 had the goal of Product Launch/Release (Chart D). These campaigns specially focused on new products to the market, for example, a new model year car, new cleaning products, or a newly approved drug.


Vertical Insight – Telecommunications


The Telecommunications vertical on our platform is unique; these advertisers are using the products and platforms they build and sell to advertise their own products and platforms. Because of this, brands running campaigns in the Telecommunications vertical are skilled at using tactical targeting, which reaches consumers based on the characteristics of their mobile devices and connections. In this tightly competitive market, brands use strategies such as conquesting around competitors’ devices, or reaching consumers at home on a particular Wi-Fi network. Telecom brands have the opportunity to take this targeting to the next level by integrating behavioral audiences across screens to reach and engage the consumer.



The Top 10 Audiences Targeted by Telecommunications Advertisers on our platform in the first quarter are shown in Chart E. This vertical most frequently targeted Home Buyers, an audience that may need to set up cable and internet services at their new home. Telecom advertisers targeted this audience with sign-up promotions to encourage new subscriptions. College Students, the tenth most frequently targeted audience, could have similar needs as they move into new apartments at the beginning of a school year.


Music & Entertainment Fans and Gamers were the second and third most targeted audiences by Telecom advertisers, respectively (Chart E). Mobile users downloading and consuming a lot of digital content need strong signals and high bandwidth to do so seamlessly. Landline and cable companies target this audience to promote their network speed and reliability to entice consumers to switch providers.


Of the Telecommunication advertisers on our platform in Q1, 63% were Mobile Carriers & Plans brands (Chart F), such as the major mobile phone networks consumers order cellular service from. Within the sub-vertical, advertisers often ran mobile campaigns promoting new network plans and sales to drive consumer awareness.


Landline & Cable Companies accounted for 24% of the Telecom advertisers on our platform in Q1 (Chart F). These brands, including landline telephone, internet, and cable and satellite TV companies ran mobile campaigns to drive new subscribers.


Vertical Insight – Telecommunications



Telecommunications advertisers utilize three actions in their creatives more frequently than all advertisers: Retail Promotion, Place Call, and Site Search (Chart G). Retail Promotion was included in nearly twice the number of Telecom campaigns on our platform in Q1 compared to all advertisers. Mobile carriers often promoted discounted devices using multiple and re-targeted creatives designed to generate awareness, and then site traffic.


Place Call actions were included in 21% of Telecommunication campaigns in Q1 (Chart G), used at 4x the rate of all advertisers. Brands in the Landline & Cable Companies sub-vertical leveraged this “click-to-call” function more frequently than any other sub-vertical to drive consumers to sign-up for service. This action was also most frequently used to achieve a campaign goal of Registrations. Registration campaigns accounted for 39% of all Telecom campaigns in Q1 (Chart H), compared to 11% for all advertisers (Chart D).


Site/Mobile Traffic campaigns were utilized by 28% of all Telecommunication advertisers on our platform in Q1 (Chart H). The drive to Site/Mobile Traffic campaign goal can have many purposes and various actions used to achieve this goal. For Telecom, the Site/Mobile Traffic goal was most often achieved through “learn more” calls to action included in the mobile campaigns. This action often sat alongside an image of a mobile device with new features.


S.M.A.R.T.â„¢ Glossary of Terms

Audience Targeting – A strategy used by advertisers to deliver relevant messaging to specific target audiences. Built upon massive volumes of diverse user, location, app, and 3rd party data, Millennial Media’s audience targeting uses a variety of targeting techniques to reach audiences, including behavioral, local, contextual, demographic, retargeting, tactical, and content-based solutions.


Cross-Platform – Pertaining to multiple devices (smartphones, tablets, feature phones, non-phone connected devices), carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, etc.), or platforms (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Symbian, etc.). Millennial Media is cross-platform – or “platform agnostic” – because we do not focus on one single OS or device type. This enables advertisers to reach as many mobile users as possible, regardless of their mobile device or carrier of choice.


Developer – Provider/creator of mobile applications and sites. Developers range from large entities (brands, portals, news sites, etc.) to individuals who focus on just a handful of applications.


Feature Phone – Any web-enabled mobile phone that is not a smartphone.


Impression – A count of the number of times an ad unit appears on a mobile device.


Interactive Video – A high-impact video ad layered with interactive features that deliver a uniquely mobile, actionable experience to customers.


Inventory – The ad space available on mobile websites and applications.


Non-Phone Connected Device – A non-phone mobile device. This includes tablets, gaming devices, e-readers, MP3 players, etc.


Post-Click Campaign Action – The action a marketing campaign is driving the customer to take once an ad is viewed (i.e., Place Call, Download Application, View Map, etc.).


Rich Media – Advertising that deviates from standard display advertising in that it goes beyond an image file to include coded features, such as it is interactive, engaging, or it breaks free of basic, accepted IAB-determined online standards.


SDK – Software Development Kit. A tool that enables developers to seamlessly integrate mobile advertising into their applications, thus monetizing their apps. Developer partners on Millennial Media’s platform download and integrate our SDKs (available for a variety of operating systems – iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc.) to gain access to the ads run by our advertising partners.


Smartphone – Any web-enabled and application-enabled mobile phone that runs on an operating system and offers the user more advanced capabilities beyond just voice and mobile web access.


Vertical – The classification of advertisers by industry.


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