We’ve all probably done it, especially with a new smart phone that you aren’t quite familiar with yet. You accidentally launch a mobile ad while navigating an application. You feel dumb perhaps, but according to a new survey from lead-gen agency Pontiflex and Harris Interactive, you’re not alone . The study found that nearly half (47%) of mobile app users have clicked or tapped ads by mistake more often than on purpose. That is a very big “oops!”
The take-away of the findings, based on the December survey of more than 4,000 mobile app users, is that a large amount of mobile ad dollars are apparently wasted, since advertisers often pay on a cost-per-click basis. This begs the question of whether clicks are an effective way of measuring mobile ad campaigns. Probably not. At least not at this point.
Eighteen to 34 years old who are the most active age group when it comes to mobile apps, were also the most likely to accidentally click on mobile ads (61%). In a related survey, 71% of app users said they prefer ads that keep them within the app they are using, instead of ads that take them out to a mobile Web browser. That seems to suggest the need for mobile advertisers to consider moving away from a click-based ad model—on mobile apps at least.
It was estimated that 95% of mobile app users use free apps. The survey showed that almost two-thirds of mobile app users most often selected ads with coupons, deals or newsletters. Good news for those retailers leveraging the high-growth digital coupon platforms, if the click was purposeful (conversion bingo!).
It is clear that mobile apps are booming. A forecast recently released by Gartner predicts that worldwide mobile app revenues may nearly triple this year to more than $15 billion, while downloads will more than double to $17.7 billion; that includes both paid and free downloads and ad-supported apps, which are expected to account for 81% of all downloads this year.
Perhaps a bigger problem for marketers is one indicated by a separate Harris Interactive survey on behalf of design agency EffectiveUI in November, which found that nearly 40% of adults online are dissatisfied with branded apps. The less time someone spends with an app, the less ad opportunity it obviously affords, therefore they are less sticky and perhaps less effective as funnels for online leads. That is assuming the click was intentional in the first place. Maybe there will soon be an app for that….?