The UK’s first publicly available mobile brand study to cover effectiveness across a range of mobile properties used a sample of 600 mobile Internet users. Respondents were exposed to banner ads for FMCG brand Kit Kat across four major mobile sites – Orange World, O2 Active, Planet 3 and Heatworld - which promoted free downloads or the chance to win an ipod.
Respondents who clicked on the ads were sent to the relevant page within the Kit Kat mobile Internet site, where they could enter the competition or download free mobile games or wallpapers.
The results of the study have formed the basis for a new set of five IAB guidelines, designed to increase the effectiveness of mobile ad campaigns:
1. Use mobile to raise awareness
The mobile ad campaign had a positive impact on raising awareness of the brand, with a 36% increase in spontaneous awareness levels of Kit Kat and 267% increase in first mention - people spontaneously mentioning Kit Kat before any other brands. Furthermore, 76% of those who had clicked on any Kit Kat banner ads said they would be likely to buy the product.
2. Mobile advertising can be effective across all demographics, but especially 18-34s
The campaign resulted in uplifts across all age groups, and for both men and women. The results were most impressive though among 18-34 year olds. Spontaneous awareness increased by 50% compared to a 21% increase for 35-44 year olds.
3. Brands and mobile Internet sites should put the user experience first
The research found that the context of mobile advertising is extremely important. People that enjoyed the site they were surfing were 76% more likely to recognise the ad. Heavy mobile Internet users were also more receptive to the advertising, and were 80% more like to recall the ad..
4. Mobile display advertising needs a clear focus
The mobile campaign improved perceptions of Kit Kat across all statements asked, particularly “is a product perfect for a break” but the uplift amongst some of the other statements was minor. This means with just one banner creative, you are unlikely to change a vast array of brand metrics, therefore the creative needs to be focused and streamlined according to what you want to achieve.
5. Mobile is more effective when something of value offered
One in four people who saw the Kit Kat banner ad clicked through to the mobile site. Of those who clicked through, 43% had done so because of the competition to win a free iPod. 51% of respondents said they were more likely to interact with mobile advertising if something was offered to them. The results also highlighted the need for mobile creative to be eye-catching and engaging: 41% of respondents who clicked through were simply interested in the advertising.
The research also looked at general attitudes and mobile Internet behaviours. In terms of attitudes to mobile Internet advertising, 72% of respondents expect the amount of advertising on mobile sites to increase over the next couple of years, and 53% would be happy to receive advertising in return for free content.
According to the first IAB-PricewaterhouseCoopers study of mobile ad revenues, expenditure on mobile advertising in the UK exceeded market expectation in 2008 to reach a total of £28.6 million. The market doubled in size on a like for like basis in 2008, increasing by 99.2% year on year.
“Mobile advertising is still in its infancy and consumers are yet to be fully sold on it because marketers need to learn the emerging rules of engagement,” says IAB Head of Mobile, Jon Mew. “What the Kit Kat research tells us is that most effective mobile campaigns follow five simple steps, and we hope that publishing these basic guidelines will help accelerate investment in the medium.”