The Numbers Behind Mobile Ads That Actually Work

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  • June 22, 2016
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As mobile devices become an integrated part of our daily lives, marketers have seen an opportunity to optimize advertising plans and multiple ROI channels. 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 $59.6 billion for the 2015 calendar year and that growth was driven primarily by mobile, which climbed to $20.7 billion. That’s a whopping 66% upswing from the previous year. Mobile also contributed to growth in programmatic ad spending.

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 or number of offers made a difference in overall effectiveness.

Banner Size Matters

RTB House analyzed 3 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, COO of RTB House, 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,” summarizes Surmacz.

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 6 products and 3 products, performing 43% and 52% better respectively). Users tended to click less on ads with 5 products, which was 6 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 6 and 3 products, while banners with only 1 offer only achieved 5 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,” adds Daniel Surmacz.RTB House analyses showed also 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%