Mobile Advertising’s Connection With Target Audiences On The Rise

Mobile advertising is catching up with the desktop in marketers’ quest to deliver their messages to the right audience. Nielsen’s Digital Ad Benchmarks and Findings report notes that mobile’s on-target percentage, the percentage of impressions delivered within the target audience out of the total served during the entire campaign, is nearing that of desktop digital advertising.

Taken as a whole, digital advertising’s on-target percentage as of second quarter 2016 was 59 percent. Looking at Nielsen’s previous digital ad benchmark reports for fourth quarter 2015 and earlier, this overall performance is a relatively stable result. The performance of mobile ad campaigns has improved significantly over the past year, with mobile ads reaching their intended audience 60 percent of the time as of second-quarter 2016, up from 49 percent in the same period of 2015. This now puts the average on-target percentage for mobile campaigns on par with that of desktop campaigns.

Nielsen’s data shows that when looking to reach broader audiences, desktop continues to hold a slight advantage over mobile in campaign performance. In campaigns geared toward people aged 18-49, mobile campaigns saw a lower on-target percentage compared with desktop campaigns, 64 percent versus 70 percent, respectively.

However, mobile campaigns were more effective in connecting with narrower audiences. In campaigns aimed at people aged 18-34, mobile ads performed higher than those on desktop—63 percent compared with 53 percent, respectively. Similarly, mobile campaigns intending to reach people aged 25-44 performed higher than desktop campaigns seeking the same audience, 64 percent compared with 42 percent. Nielsen suggests that these results point to mobile being a more highly personal platform that has the potential for more precise connections.

Generally, desktop campaigns have higher average on-target percentages with male audiences than with women. However, Nielsen’s data shows this trend turned on its head when it comes to mobile ads. Mobile ad campaigns have greater success reaching women than men across most age brackets. Among people aged 18-49, mobile ad campaigns were able to reach 53 percent of women and 50 percent of men in the intended audience. By contrast, desktop campaigns intended for this group reached 57 percent of men and only reached 45 percent of women. Mobile’s ability to connect with women also holds in narrower audiences. Among people aged 18-24, mobile ad campaigns reached 28 percent of women in the intended audience compared with 17 percent of men in the same group.

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