Mobile Ad Engagement Doubles as U.S. Consumers’ Attitudes Towards Mobile Ads Improve

xAd/Telmetrics 2014 Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study Shows Importance of Ad Relevancy; Mobile Ads Driving Secondary Actions and Purchases


NEW YORK and TORONTO July 29, 2014 Mobile ad targeting and personalization improvements are paying off as mobile ad engagement has more than doubled since 2013. Today’s mobile shoppers are increasingly receptive to relevant ads, according to a new report from the 3rd Annual U.S. Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study released today by xAd, a leading global location ad platform, and Telmetrics, the leading call measurement technology provider. Results of the 2014 study were compiled by Nielsen from an online survey and on-device behavioral data from 6,000 U.S. smartphone and tablet users focused on the Automotive, Entertainment, Restaurant and Telecom categories.


xAd/Telmetrics 2014 Mobile Path-to-Purchase Ad Receptiveness Infographic


As consumers become more reliant on their mobile devices and ads mature to provide consumers with value, there has been a positive and important shift in mobile ad perceptions. Among the key findings, nearly 50 percent of mobile shoppers say mobile ads are informative/helpful, up 113 percent from 22 percent in 2013. Furthermore, 40 percent of respondents report clicking on ads and nearly half of those take secondary actions such as viewing the referring website and searching for additional product information. Entertainment, Retail and Restaurants are the most commonly recognized mobile ad categories.


Relevance is Key to Mobile Ad Engagement

A major factor influencing ad engagement is relevancy. More than 40 percent of mobile users say they clicked on a mobile ad because it was relevant to their interests or purchase research. Coupons are big drivers for both clicking on ads and engaging with a brand post-click, and if an ad can drive local action, then consumers are more likely to engage. More than half of respondents say that location is an important ad relevancy factor, up 44 percent over the last two years. Also, consumers are more aware of the fact that ads support free content. The majority of respondents say they prefer a free website with ads over paying for an ad-free subscription; this sentiment increased 31 percent since 2012.


“By understanding how consumers are engaging with their devices during purchase decisions and throughout the day, brands are able to serve ads that are more relevant, engaging and ultimately more effective, than ever before,” said Monica Ho, SVP of marketing at xAd. “Marketers need to closely evaluate how to provide the right value when trying to reach their consumers, either through local relevance, free services, or even convenience.”


Secondary Actions Reveal Mobile Purchase Indicators 

The study also showed that secondary actions strongly indicate mobile shoppers’ purchase intent. Consumers who take action post-click want to convert quickly and look for businesses nearby to do so. In fact, half want to purchase within the hour, and 70 percent go on to make a purchase. Post-click secondary actions are also closely correlated with proximity expectations: 67 percent of these mobile shoppers want a business within 5 miles and 18 percent want locations within 1 mile. Also, contacting a business is strongly tied to mobile engagement, as 57 percent of those who clicked on mobile ads and 61 percent of those who took secondary actions prefer ads that provide a direct phone number for the business.


“It is encouraging that mobile engagement indicators have spiked as it reflects stronger consumer trust in and reliance on mobile,” said Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics. “Advertisers should benchmark their mobile ad program performance against these trends. Improving the relevancy of their ad programs with deals and location context are important for increasing ad traction with mobile shoppers.”


Study results revealed that household decision makers with buying power are lucrative mobile ad targets, with consumers aged 35-44 years old as well as higher household income users 26 percent more likely to click on ads and then take secondary actions. Three out of five consumers occasionally share mobile ads on social media, also most commonly among 35-44 year olds.


About the Study

The xAd-Telmetrics Mobile Path to Purchase Study is the only comprehensive research report that measures what consumers report they are doing via mobile devices and captures actual preferences and behaviors. Results from the 3rd Annual U.S. Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study are based on data from an online survey of 2,000 U.S. smartphone and tablet users and actual observed consumer behaviors from Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics Panel of 6,000 Apple and Android users. More details are available at


About xAd

xAd helps brands harness the power of accurate location data to produce measurable results from mobile advertising. Through award-winning location technology that is precise, measurable and scalable, xAds platform pinpoints target audiences by neighborhood, across the country and around the globe at pivotal moments during the consumers path-to-purchase. xAd’s platform drives results powered by search-enhanced targeting, ultimately yielding unparalleled performance. Founded in 2009, xAd serves more than 1.5 million national and local advertisers, while managing more than 40 billion location-verified ad requests monthly. Connect with xAd at, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


About Telmetrics, Inc.
Telmetrics is a leading call measurement technology company that powers digital marketers’ use of calls as a cross-media advertising performance metric. For nearly 25 years, Telmetrics has delivered scalable and quality call measurement innovations that reveal the lead generation impact of direct response ad programs. As a proven global technology partner, Telmetrics helps media publishers, agencies and the leading brands in local, mobile and vertical search leverage calls for millions of SMB and national franchises’ ad performance and monetization models. For more information, please visit


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