Mobile Users Expect Targeted, Relevant Ads: PwC

Mobile ads are best when they meet demands around time, environment and frequency so that they are delivered at the right time of day and on the right day.

Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of consumers are somewhat or extremely unwilling to share personal information on their mobile devices, according to a PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) survey of 1,500 people, "Mobile Advertising: What Do U.S. Consumers Want?"

Of the 69 percent who are open to receive mobile ads, the ads are preferred when the consumer is in a "leisurely" mode. Even ads that are relevant to personal interests do not directly translate to ad interest or engagement, with 71 percent of respondents choosing not to click through a relevant ad, the report indicated.

Survey results suggest the evolving frontier of mobile advertising requires advertisers and marketers to quickly learn how to leverage the medium within the boundaries of consumers’ willingness and attitudes towards receiving mobile ads.

Among the top five targeting criteria for mobile advertising, knowing the user’s current location ranked No. 2. Forty-four percent of respondents would want to be targeted with ads on their mobile device based on their current location, underscoring the importance of location-based technologies.

"With mobile’s unique properties as both a data-tracking device and a delivery mechanism, the biggest challenge is to figure out how to piece everything together to be useful for marketing," the report noted. "This requires understanding how to take advantage of how consumers are using mobile to improve monetization from ad delivery. Relevance is the baseline but then there is a consumer list of requirements to enable interaction with the brand in the mobile environment."

However, the survey revealed that it’s about more than relevancy, it’s also about knowing the context. Mobile ads are best when they meet demands around time, environment and frequency so that they are delivered at the right time of day on the right day(s) of the week.

Just 22 percent of respondents would want to be ad-targeted on a weekly basis, driven by 35-49 year olds, and consumers indicated they are simply not going to watch, and are in fact bothered by, ads that are disconnected with their interests or lifestyle.

PwC also surveyed consumers in the U.K., Brazil and China to explore differences in country preferences. They found that advertisers need to plan campaigns based on widely varying preferences in different countries.

Brazil is leading the pack in adoption of activities performed on a mobile device, particularly ahead of the U.S. and U.K. in many areas. Brazilian and Chinese consumers are also much more likely than U.S. and U.K. consumers to click on a mobile ad if it is relevant and they have a much higher preference for video mobile advertisements.

Meanwhile, privacy concerns were top-of-mind in PwC’s survey results and echoed throughout focus groups. While consumers are willing to give up personal information in exchange for something of value, they expect transparency with regards to handing over private data, the report said.