90% of smartphone owners recall seeing mobile adverts on their devices

A majority of 63% of smartphone owners are using their mobile devices at least once every 30 minutes, a new study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has found, with ad recall much higher than previously predicted.

The findings are part of the Always On – A Global Perspective of Mobile Consumer Experience study which surveyed respondents from North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Regionally, South America has the highest average mobile usage, with Brazil (78%) and Argentina (73%) ranking right at the top with the most frequent usage of such devices.

Mobile web and app usage are fairly similar, both being used several times a day. Interestingly, the report found that overall web usage on mobile devices was a little higher (88%) than app usage (84%), which is in contrast to many other previous predictions. However, it’s not entirely clear if the report refers to time being spent within mobile apps/web or merely considered the number of sessions launched.

It appears that consumer preference for mobile web versus apps depends on the activity and type of content. Mobile web tends to be more heavily related to functionality and utility usage, whilst apps skew for personal and social use. For consumers using both web and apps, there tends to be a preference for mobile web usage when conducting utility-oriented activities such as searching for things or booking services. Within the entertainment and communications as well as social activities, mobile apps dominate.

Either way, the most interesting part of the survey for mobile advertisers will surely be the statistic that finds that ad awareness across both mobile web and apps is high – very high. A whopping 90% of smartphone owners recall seeing mobile ads within the first few days the ads was originally launched – 86% recall ads in-app.

Additionally, 45% of mobile users took action after seeing an ad on mobile web compared to 47% on mobile apps. Ads had a similar impact across both platforms with the most mentioned actions being recall of brands and interacting with an ad.

However, none of that means the ad experience is perfect. Whilst smartphone users did report improvements in load speed and creative quality for both mobile web and app ads, they are increasingly concerned about the quantity and intrusiveness of ads.

Anna Bager, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Video, IAB, explains:

“These findings confirm the fact that omnipresent mobile usage is a worldwide phenomenon, which creates a tremendous opportunity for marketers. Digital advertising is making an impact and motivating consumers to action, whether they access the internet via the mobile web or mobile apps.”