Clicks have become a dubious metric for mobile advertising. Research has shown that clicks don’t always translate into purchases and may even be negatively correlated with metrics like store visits.
Yet clicks can still have value as an indicator of user interest or engagement. A new survey, conducted by Thrive Analytics for the Local Search Association, found that 55% of 2,000 survey respondents had clicked on a mobile ad.
By itself this finding wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy. However the study, entitled The Mobile Fanatics: How Mobile is Transforming Local Shopping, also identified a large sub-segment of smartphone users who are more engaged with advertising and more open to its influence.
This hyper-connected segment is called “mobile fanatics.” Mobile fanatics are defined as smartphone owners that conduct more than 10 searches per week on their mobile devices. The searches are on at least two mobile devices and occur at multiple locations (at home, at work, in the car, or out and about).
Mobile fanatics tend to be younger and more affluent: 80% of this segment is between the ages of 18-43 with over half having household incomes above $50K. It’s also a growing segment. A year ago mobile fanatics represented about 30% of smartphone owners; today it’s 43%.
As the chart above indicates, mobile fanatics intentionally clicked on mobile ads at much higher rates than standard mobile users: 75% vs. 55%. This indicates mobile fanatics’ clear intent to engage with mobile ads. There’s no “fat finger” problem here; this is conscious behavior.
Beyond their interest in ads, mobile fanatics are more likely to buy something as a result of mobile ad exposure. The survey found that 70% in this group had been influenced to make a purchase from information in a mobile ad.
But the group’s mobile engagement doesn’t stop with ads. The report compares and contrasts mobile fanatics to the standard mobile user in a variety of interesting ways.
Some other highlights from the report include:
- We are past the tipping point with mobile usage.
- Consumers can and do access information everywhere.
- Information obtained from mobile search and mobile apps play a critical role in the purchase process.
- Mobile users are receptive to ads.
- Mobile amplifies retail sales.
- Marketers and businesses can capitalize on these trends.
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