IAB: Display Trumps Search For Mobile Marketers

A new IAB-sponsored survey of 300 US-based corporations shows that branded apps and display advertising trump search marketing in mobile. According to the just-released survey almost twice as many marketers used mobile display advertising as used mobile search.

Percent Using for Mobile Advertising

I’m somewhat surprised by these findings. However the survey sample consisted of “300 top-level brand marketing executives” so that may explain the “display bias” of the respondents.

Most of these folks appear not to have learned the basic lesson of the Internet that search is a branding medium as well. However the options for ad creative in mobile search are quite limited by comparison to some of the rich media capabilities of iAd, AdMob and other mobile display networks. Sixty percent of respondents said “limited opportunity for creative” was a challenge for mobile.

However the survey also reveals that a substantial number of these respondents have moved beyond treating mobile as “experimental.” Fifty one percent said mobile was part of their advertising strategy, with an impressive 31 percent saying that mobile was “fully integrated with other media campaigns.”

Mobile Advertising Approach

Mobile advertising budgets are increasing but still small relative to PC-based advertising and traditional media.

Mobile Ad Budgets: Percent Spending

The retail, entertainment, automotive and travel/hotel/restaurants verticals are the most deeply engaged with mobile advertising, according to the survey.

Top Verticals

As you might expect smartphone and tablets were more important to marketers than feature phones, eReaders or gaming consoles.

Relative Importance of Device Types

Barriers to additional mobile ad spending for this group were the following:

  • Device fragmentation (cited by 72% as a challenge of medium or high importance)
  • Privacy issues (70%)
  • Lack of standardized metrics (69%)

A different population of advertisers might produce very different results. However mobile surveys now almost uniformly show the degree to which marketers are taking mobile seriously and that it’s capturing more of the marketing spend.

The full survey can be obtained here.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Search Marketing: Mobile

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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