Mobile Advertising: Is it Right for Your Business?

Have you noticed how display advertisements are appearing on your mobile phone throughout the day? We see mobile ads in mobile apps, web browsers, and on social networking sites. Have you ever clicked on one or wondered about the ROI of mobile advertising? New research is helping us answer these questions.

A recent piece in the Harvard Business Review (Making Mobile Ads That Work) tells the story of a recent study in which three researchers reviewed a marketing experiment to find the answers. Looking at a sample of 40,000 consumer trials, the team found that mobile advertising can certainly work, but much better in some cases than others.  In short, the researchers concluded that the best situations for using mobile ads are those in which the product (a) is practical and (b) involves a higher level of deliberation by the buyer.  The examples provided include:

What is the rationale for this finding?  According to the research, “mobile display ads…cue consumers to revisit facts they already possess.”  If an offering “is relevant to them, people are more likely to have retained–and be motivated to recall–information about it.”  In such cases, the researchers found that mobile ads:

mobile advertising example

Mobile display ads, like the example shown here, work best for practical products that involve a higher level of consideration.

In contrast, mobile ads are less effective for:

So if you are considering whether to employ mobile advertising or not, think about your product/service in the above context.  If your offering is one that is both practical and deliberative, mobile ads are particularly worthy of your consideration.