Did You Know?

Research Indicates Mobile Users Respond to Ads

By Association Adviser staff • November 5, 2012

A new Mojiva Mobile Audience Guide (MAG) survey found that three out of five mobile users (60 percent) click on mobile ads at least once per week. When seeing an ad, half of users indicated that they would play a game, download an application or visit a website after seeing an ad. However, only one in five (22 percent) said they would make a purchase, and only two in five (40 percent) would download a coupon.

Mojiva researchers found that mobile marketing performs well when it lines up the services and products that affect people on an everyday basis. They also found that mobile advertising is effective when it’s “part of the conversation” for major national brand advertising.

  • Mobile marketing performs well when it lines up the services and products that affect people on an everyday basis.
  • Mobile advertising is more effective for raising awareness and purchase consideration than it is for inducing direct purchases.
  • Before going mobile, associations should ask themselves four key questions about their goals, objectives and member work habits.

Researchers also discovered that not all mobile ads attract the same kind of engagement from users. For instance, more than 20 percent of survey respondents said they pay attention to normal banner ads, videos ads and ads that let them interact with them. By contrast, only 13 percent of respondents pay attention to text ads and almost none (2 percent) pay attention to intrusive “expanding screen takeover ads.”

Incorporating mobile advertising into your membership communications offering has many benefits, but it also can be a “potentially costly and time-consuming investment,” according to Marcus Underwood, vice president and general manager of NaylorNet, the online media solutions division of Naylor, LLC. Before diving in, Underwood said associations should ask themselves these questions:

1. What information do my members want from me?

Not all information translates well to a mobile device. Long-form articles, image-heavy stories and regulatory topics are best communicated through your print magazine or website. Mobile excels at accessing reference material, current events and location-specific content. Think about what your members might want to use when they’re away from their desks, on a job site or at a customer’s office.

2. What is the typical day like for my members?

Are your members on the move every day, or do they tend to stay in an office working in front of a computer most of the time? Obviously, the more they are on the road, the more they need portable information.

3. What types of devices are most popular for my members?

BlackBerry, iPhone, and Droid platforms are the three leaders, but each requires a separate development effort. Before plunging in to the mobile fray, survey your membership to understand the types of devices they use. If you discover that 80 percent of members use BlackBerry, that’s where you will want to first spend your time, effort and money. Keep in mind though, technology changes all the time, and this year’s winners may be next year’s losers, so you need to stay current with members’ secondary and tertiary preferences as well.

4. Am I looking at mobile as a member benefit or as a revenue driver?

Offering your members any kind of mobile application can easily be promoted as a member benefit. Even members who don’t use it will perceive themselves as belonging to a forward-thinking organization.

However, making money from your mobile offerings is another matter altogether. Sponsors and advertisers typically pay for eyeballs, and even the best applications will attract only a small fraction of your membership base initially. This will change over time, but your best bet in the short-term is to find a single sponsor who is interested primarily in being associated with the “forward-thinking” nature of mobile applications and is less interested in precisely measuring the cost-efficiency of an advertising “buy.” Additionally, small screen sizes and limited ad functionality (such as not offering Flash) make mobile a difficult sell for many conventional ad concepts.

NaylorNet Mobile Initiatives

In September, NaylorNet launched two new applications that are available to our association partners. The first is the NaylorNet Mobile Marketplace. This application allows members to locate product and service suppliers while away from their offices. This reference tool is concise and can be location-specific. The second is the NaylorNet Mobile Newswire. This application provides convenient access to our association partners’ eNewsletter content, which typically contains current events, calendars and association updates. Information is updated as it is published and is archived and searchable. Both platforms were built to work on the Apple iPhone and BlackBerry.

“There are an infinite number of mobile applications that you can build and customize for your membership,” Underwood said. “But before jumping in, ask yourself the four questions above to avoid wasting time and money and to ensure the maximum probability of success with your members on the move.”

About The Author

Marcus Underwood is vice president and general manager of NaylorNet, the online media solutions division of Naylor, LLC.