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What Mobile Ad Stats Mean For Radio


In June, my company Hipcricket distributed a national survey via email in hopes that results would  provide insight into consumer behavior and attitudes toward mobile advertising.

For radio station owners, it is clear that their listeners have gone mobile, and mobile marketing/advertising has popped up as a key way to drive revenue for the station and its advertisers. For one, it drives increased interaction and brand awareness through another channel for content --  whether its a live stream of your audio, Web-only audio, or video programming. But for the purposes of our survey results, lets focus on how and why monetizing through mobile ads is a no-brainer. The numbers speak for themselves.

To start, Id like to give you a sense of who we surveyed. The general breakdown of those U.S.-based cell phone owners was:
-- Distributed across five age categories (18-24, 25-30, 31-35, 36-40, 41-45) and four income ranges ($25,000-$50,000; $50,000-$75,000; $75,000-$100,000; greater than $100,000)
-- 50 percent male; 50 percent female
-- 27 percent reside in the Northeast; 21 percent reside in the Midwest; 30 percent reside in the South; 22 percent reside in the West
-- 43 percent owned tablets, and 73 percent owned smartphones (which breaks down even further: 43 percent owned iPhones, 38 percent owned Android-based devices, 16 percent owned BlackBerry devices).

Results show that whether you are a large media conglomerate or a smaller radio company, there is a time, a place, and a listener that is ideal for viewing and engaging with mobile ads.

For instance, the study found the most interest and interactivity with mobile ads among the younger, 25-34 age demographic. Specifically:
-- 70 percent have made a purchase as a direct result of a mobile ad
-- 58 percent would be willing to provide personal information via a mobile website in return for a reward or coupon -- twice as likely as those in the 45-54 year old category
-- 48 percent think more positively about their favorite brands after interacting with them via their mobile device; significantly more than any other age group.

This should probably come as no surprise: Your younger listeners are tech-savvy and getting their information, music, news, and more, from many sources, and are largely very mobile.

Is your station focused on content that targets men vs. women? Well, the argument is in your court, regardless:
-- Women expressed more interest in receiving mobile coupons (44 percent vs. 40 percent for men), however, men were more likely to redeem those coupons (35 percent vs. 27 percent for women)
-- Men were more likely to make a purchase as a result of a mobile ad (68 percent vs. 58 percent)
-- Men were also more likely to refer a friend as a direct result of a mobile ad (52 percent vs. 37 percent).

Regardless of age or sex, the potential for actual purchases from those who are willing to engage with an ad is promising:
-- 55 percent of those who have clicked on a mobile advertisement have an annual income of more than $75,000
-- 29 percent of those who have clicked on a mobile advertisement have an income of more than $100,000
-- 45 percent of those with an income of more than $75,000 have made a purchase as the result of a mobile ad.

If you arent convinced that your station and advertisers can benefit from mobile components integrated into the listener mix, it isnt a bad idea to experiment with this channel. After all, our survey found that 46 percent of smartphone owners have viewed a mobile ad, and a whopping 64 percent of those who have viewed an ad have made a purchase as a result of mobile advertising. An additional finding that speaks to radio is the benefit of word of mouth. Respondents told us that not only do targeted and relevant mobile ads directly impact sales, but respondents (45 percent of them) have referred a product or service to a friend as a direct result of mobile ads. This gives us even more of a reason to marry the two.

That being said, more than half of respondents had never viewed a mobile advertisement on their phone and 74 percent have not received mobile ads from their favorite brands. While this is sure to increase over the next few years and even months, the time to take advantage of the influx in consumer interest to receive meaningful mobile interaction with brands is now. But as I always say, dont be too eager with your mobile ads -- stay relevant. Similar to the rules for ads on-air and online, your mobile ads will still be ignored if they do not relate to the listener. Our survey showed that those who have yet to engage with a mobile ad, primarily replied that it was because they were irrelevant:
-- 43 percent stated the ads werent relevant to their interests
-- 39 percent responded that it did not appeal to me.

Sometimes it takes facts, statistics, and numbers to open the eyes of marketers that need to make sure their investments will actually impact the bottom line. I completely understand and appreciate that. The numbers here show that mobile is becoming a must-have for radio, and not just a nice-to-have. Mobile advertising represents a tremendous opportunity for stations and advertisers to reach target customers, and bring them back to radio, especially younger, more affluent consumers who are extremely active on mobile devices. For more information and to download the survey brief, please visit:

Ivan Braiker is the president of mobile marketing company Hipcricket. He can be reached at
Read more articles from Ivan HERE

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(8/16/2012 6:34:05 AM)
This is another of Radio Ink's 'must read" articles: Ivan Braiker gives detailed reasons as to "why" radio needs to act.

Most important is his "...the time to take advantage of the influx in consumer interest to receive meaningful mobile interaction with brands is now."

Only, the radio industry needs to understand this is a time of experimentation. It's time to drop the status quo approach to how a radio station's ad is presented. Carrying the old approach to this new distribution vehicle of mobile simply won't work.

- Ken Dardis

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