Mobile Recall: Targeting Smartphone Users Part 1

May 01, 12 Mobile Recall: Targeting Smartphone Users Part 1

It is becoming impossible to escape digital advertisements these days as smartphones and tablets continue to become more advanced. In the past few years, mobile devices with Internet connectivity have transitioned from luxury to necessity: Lost? Just use the GPS that comes with your phone; hungry? Here is a list of restaurants within a five mile radius. It is as if access to 3G or Wi-Fi networks has become a basic physiological need, fitting into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs bottom tier along with air, food and water.

Because people are so dependent on their smartphones and digital media devices, they are inevitability exposed to a wide range of online advertisements. But, what types of advertisements are people actually remembering?

For instance, when I download a free app on my iPhone, I know that I’m giving a way for advertisers to target me; however, I’m not too concerned because I’d rather save the $2.07 (the average cost of an app according to After I make a move on Words with Friends or in between every five or so songs on Pandora, I’m hit with an advertisement. What may alarm advertisers is I don’t tend to remember any of them, begging the question exactly how effective are the ads in the first place?

What type of Internet ads are the most successful (as measured by sales/brand recall) such as: Are people more likely to respond to personalized ads like those found on Google and Facebook? Or are people more likely to notice and remember pop-up or banner ads found on any webpage?

Although this blog is proposing more questions than it is answering, one thing is clear: we take online advertisements with us everywhere we go.

According to George L. San Jose, President and Chief Operating Officer of The San Jose Group, “Advertising must connect emotionally with the audience it is targeting for the best chance of engagement and recall. Mobile is no different. Most companies buy ad placement, forgetting about the emotional connection.”

Despite my own lapse in taking real notice to online ads, according to a 2011 Compete, a Kantar Media company, Smartphone Intelligence survey, a majority of smartphone users do recall ads. The results show that 52 percent of smartphone users recall ads from their mobile apps—iPhone users specifically recall 65 percent of ads on their mobile apps. However, recall significantly drops when the smartphone users leave the mobile apps and are targeted via web browser, video ads or text message ads.

Stay tuned for our future blog to learn the results of a survey on this topic.


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