The surprising thing about mobile apps

July 2018

Mobile apps have become an integral part of people's daily routines, with 92% of smartphone owners using apps. New research from Ipsos shows that, when done right, advertising through mobile apps is successful both at reaching decision makers and at driving action.

In late 2017, Ipsos, Google and several key advertisers partnered to understand more about the reach and impact of mobile apps and advertising in mobile apps.

They uncovered two insights marketers will likely find quite surprising.

First, the research uncovered that, because people consider smartphones an extension of themselves and apps are used throughout the day, apps reach broad audiences at times when other marketing channels can’t, creating unique reach opportunities.

Second, the most recent research uncovered the potential of mobile apps as an effective advertising channel. Ipsos found that ads shown on mobile apps were more likely than those shown on a PC/laptop to be memorable, create a positive brand association, deliver a better ad experience, and drive actions:

#1 Ads in apps were more memorable
More people could remember details of an ad when they saw it in an app. And they were more likely to remember which brand the ad was for when viewed in an app or on a mobile website.

#2 They drove a stronger response
People felt closer to brands when they saw ads in apps. They were more likely to find the ads informative and enjoyable. There was a greater chance of them feeling positive about a brand when seeing the ad via an app, than on a PC.

#3 They had a bigger impact
In-app advertising was more successful in driving action. People were more likely to interact with a brand, buy a product or service, follow a call-to-action or recommend a brand to their family or friends after seeing its ad in an app, compared with those who saw it via a PC.

#4 They delivered a better ad experience
People viewing app-based ads were more likely to think they were more visually appealing than those seeing ads via a PC. They tended to think that the ads didn’t interfere with the content. In general, they were more receptive to seeing similar ads in the future.

This is a twist on conventional perception that ads in mobile apps are disruptive and ineffective. The study found that when done right, ads in apps deliver a unique impact.

What you need to know about mobile app users