Daniel Surmacz, RTB House: The numbers behind mobile ads that actually work. Mobile usage across the globe – still on the rise

Digital & Media, Marketing

Smartphones and tablets are no longer dedicated to social communication. They represent the fastest growing medium to access a global marketplace and shop products online. Marketers are becoming more and more responsive to the huge opportunity presented by mobile ads, accounting for mobile in nearly all of their advertising strategies. But some do mobile ads better than others. Savvy mobile marketers turn to mobile retargeting, a balancing act that does its best to not disrupt the user, while targeting them carefully with precision.

Desktop’s share of advertising dollars is slowing down, while mobile grows rapidly. According to Interactive Advertising Bureau, US digital advertising revenue surged to a record-breaking $59.6b for the 2015 calendar year and that growth was driven primarily by mobile, which climbed to $20.7b. That’s a whopping 66% upswing from the previous year. Mobile also contributed to growth in programmatic ad spending. “In 2016, it will represent 69% of all programmatic digital display ad spending in US,” says market research company eMarketer .

With expertise in performance-based advertising, RTB House – a tech company specialized in sophisticated retargeting scenarios, operating worldwide – investigated which specific parameters of could be deemed as “the perfect banner ad” served on mobile devices. The company analyzed hundreds of selected advertising campaigns run for clients on almost 40 markets to see if different parameters, including banner size, number of offers, or demographic made a difference in overall effectiveness.

Attract Millennials and Generation Z

RTB House analyses showed that CTRs (the relation between the number of clicks and ad displays) achieved by ads issued on mobile devices are often higher than those on desktop. According to its latest discovery, the average CTR on desktop fluctuates around 0.73%, while smartphone averaged 0.84% and tablets at 0.87%.

Daniel Surmacz, COO of RTB House emphasizes that the role of mobile ads has been significantly growing year by year as younger people, with new buying behaviours, join the sales funnel:

For today’s always-connected consumers, mobile is often the number one choice in their purchase journey. As IAB’s studies show young (especially the first of Generation Z and last of the Millennials) are more apt to notice mobile ads targeted on the basis of social media and web browsing history. More than half of them have acted based on seeing a relevant ad on their mobile phone. So it’s important to use the most effective advertising strategies to ensure that the right message is issued to the most prospective buyers. The more accurate you are with the ad among young generations, the bigger chance you have to attract and convince mobile user to buy.

More offers, more attracting buyers

It turns out that advertising campaigns on mobile are influenced by the number of offers presented in each ad. RTB House research shows that the most effective creatives contained 12 products, which achieved an average CTR at 1.4% on smartphones and 1.3% on tablets.

The 12-product banner on smartphones performed significantly higher than the next-best banners (containing six products and three products, performing 43% and 52% better respectively). Users tended to click less on ads with five products, which was six times less effective than the most clickable 12-product banner.

When it comes to tablets, ads with 12 products perform 19% and 39% better than banners with six and three products, while banners with only one offer only achieved five times lower CTR than the most clickable banners.

Just like typical desktop campaigns, the more products you can show on a banner, the bigger chance to attract buyers. It’s just that the variety of products presented can be wider. For example we may include products from a few categories already seen on the same banner, increasing the chance of getting the viewer interested

Daniel Surmacz

Banner size matters

It is worth to know that the banner’s size also matters. RTB House analyzed three of the most popular ads sizes served on mobile: 300×250, 320×100 and 320×50. The most effective size turned out to be the 300×250 format. Its average CTR on smartphones fluctuates around 1.03%, which is by 186% and 133% better than the others. When it comes to tablets the 300×250 format achieved an average CTR at 1.04%, which is by 305% and 174% higher than 320×100 and 320×50, respectively.

Daniel Surmacz explains that it is not a surprise that bigger ads perform better:

Larger banners are better at capturing consumer attention, especially when we talk about small screens of mobile devices, which are used mostly on the go. By using well-developed technology, which allows you to personalize the message and promote only these products which consumers were interested in, we can raise the potential of users noticing the ad and making a decision to buy.

Making mobile count

As mobile devices become an integrated part of our daily lives, marketers have seen an opportunity to optimize advertising plans and multiple ROI channels:

The trick is to reach the most relevant buyer wherever they are, on mobile or desktop, and personalized retargeting helps to achieve it. However, it is worth noting that mobile should be not used alone. Instead, it should be integrated into an overall digital marketing strategy.

The data used in this research was derived from personalized retargeting tools developed by RTB House. The analysis covered selected campaigns served by the company in April 2016.

Daniel Surmacz is the COO of RTB House, technology company that provides full-service retargeting display campaigns tailored to each customer. The company’s proprietary real-time bidding technology generates competitive results for its global clientele through sophisticated retargeting scenarios, advanced segmentation and real-time optimization.

RTB House operates globally with offices in Warsaw, Prague, Moscow and São Paulo. RTB House currently runs campaigns in Europe, APAC and LATAM.