Mobile ad targeting "getting better": 60% now reach intended audience


Mobile ad campaigns are getting better at reaching thier targets, showing an 11 percentage point increase over the last year in terms of accuracy, according to new research.

The data, from Neilsen, indicates that mobile ads in the US reached their intended audience 60% of the time as of Q2 2016.

This figure is up from 49% in the same period of 2015, which indicates that while desktop ads have historically had higher on-target percentages for reaching their intended audience than those on mobile, advertisers have made significant strides in closing the gap in recent years.


This now puts the average on-target percentage for mobile campaigns on par with that of desktop campaigns, something that could influence media buyers and sellers planning digital media campaigns.

“With the rate of smartphone ownership in the US continuing to climb, mobile has become a force to be reckoned with in the world of digital advertising,” Nielsen noted. “While this boom is providing exciting opportunities for brands to reach many Americans, the mobile ad market’s rapid growth has raised questions as well, particularly around reaching the right consumers.”

When looking to reach broader audiences, desktop continues to hold a slight advantage over mobile in campaign performance. In campaigns geared toward people aged 18-49 — often thought of as a key buying demographic — mobile campaigns saw a lower on-target percentage compared with desktop campaigns, 64% versus 70%, respectively.

On the other hand, mobile campaigns were more effective in connecting with narrower audiences. This may be due to the fact that mobile devices are more personal in nature and less likely to be shared in the same way as viewing on other devices.

In campaigns aimed at people aged 18-34, mobile ads performed higher than those on desktop— 63% compared with 53%, respectively.

Similarly, mobile campaigns intending to reach people aged 25-44 performed higher than desktop campaigns seeking the same audience, 64% compared with 42%.

“These numbers further reinforce that mobile is proving itself to be a more highly personal platform and highlight the potential it holds for more precise connections,” Nielsen said.

In terms of demographics, desktop campaigns have higher average on-target percentages with male audiences than with women. However, this trend is reveresed when it comes to mobile ads.
In a marked contrast to desktop, mobile ad campaigns have greater success reaching women than men across most age brackets.

Among people aged 18-49, mobile ad campaigns were able to reach 53% of women and 50% of men in the intended audience. By contrast, desktop campaigns intended for this group reached 57% of men and only reached 45% of women.

Notably, mobile’s ability to connect with women holds in more narrow audiences. Specifically, among people aged 18-24, mobile ad campaigns reached 28% of women in the intended audience compared with 17% of men in the same group.

Given the importance of this segment to marketers and their reputation as pivotal early adopters, mobile’s strong connection with female consumers could hold tangible applications for brands across benchmarks Nielsen

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