The good news is that mobile banners get far higher click rates than display ads on desktop computers. The bad news: that rate looks set to drop.
MediaMind, an ad technologies firm, recently reviewed more than 230 million mobile impressions in Q4 2010 and Q1 2011 and found that mobile ads achieved an impressive CTR of 0.61 percent, while standard display banners for PCs recorded a CTR of 0.07 percent.
Ariel Greifman, principal research analyst for ad technologies firm MediaMind, which produced the study, doesn’t attribute it to the genius of the ads themselves, but rather to the novelty of mobile ads and the relative scarcity of mobile banners on mobile homepages.
“Mobile is in a relatively early stage in terms of advertising, and just like in the beginning of online advertising, PC response rates were considerable higher, which is typical of an early stage medium,” he said.
Mobile ads occupy more page real estate than browser ads, and mobile users browse with the phone closer to their eyes, so the ads have more of a visual impact, Greifman believes. Often, there is only one banner per page so there is a greater likelihood that a consumer will simply click out of curiosity.
“Mobile has a high rate of performance in the evenings because consumers don’t feel comfortable browsing at work; they may be browsing at night while watching TV, and relaxing. They are browsing for entertainment so it has more of an impact,” said Greifman.
Griefman believes that user-experience, however, is still a factor in driving CTR for mobile, whether at the device level or in terms of the medium itself.