Last week, xAd and Telmetrics released new data from a report administered by Nielsen that measures mobile local user behavior. Earlier today, we had the chance to catch up with TelmetricsCEO Bill Dinan to get some more color on the full report’s official release.
In terms of data and takeaways, there is a lot there. One of the top line data points affirms what we’ve been examining for some time: Mobile user behavior correlates to “lower funnel” (closer to the purchase decision) commercial intent. Here, there were some interesting vertical breakdowns.
For example, among mobile searches for restaurants, 85 percent resulted in purchases. This isn’t a big surprise, given mobile’s heavy use within categories of high immediacy, such as bars and restaurants. But what did surprise us was that the conversion rate in the autos category was 51 percent of searches.
Autos is known to be a high consideration category, for which there is a great deal more “lean back” research that happens on the desktop. However it does stand to reason that lower funnel activity still exists when users are ready to buy and looking for more directional information.
Dinan asserts that this represents a huge opportunity for advertisers to better craft their campaigns towards the realities of mobile user behavior — something that we and others have been arguing for some time. But it’s also important to add that this varies across categories and device classes.
“There are lots of questions about how to monetize mobile,” said Dinan. “The approach has to consider differences in terms of intent. We’re seeing differences in behavior so it’s important to keep in mind that one-size-fits-all in mobile advertising won’t work.”
Along the lines of crafting mobile content to be congruent with mobile intent, the report similarly showed that ads with localized content perform much better (again, as we’ve examined). In this case, locally relevant content was named as the top ad attribute that causes users to click.
Second on that list was the availability of coupons or offers, followed by ads that feature a known brand. The latter point is also interesting in that mobile users are once again in lower funnel stages where they already know the items and brands they’re interested in.
To that point, the report uncovered some notable differences between tablet and smartphone search. The report states that smart phone users tend to access local information via apps (no surprise), while tablet users are showing a higher frequency of browser use.
That can be theorized to relate to the larger form factor that makes browser-based experiences more user friendly. But perhaps more interesting is that tablet users aren’t searching as much as one would think — instead navigating directly to branded websites.
Here there’s a bone of contention whether tablet use more resembles the desktop (higher funnel) or the smartphone (lower funnel). The direct navigation point seems to indicate that it could be more the latter — somewhat of a contrarian stance.
Still, it’s clear that tablets are being used much more in-home than on the go, while smartphones are the opposite (though the latter contradicts some data we’ve seen). Regardless, the differing user behavior between the two — behavior, context, time frame, etc. — suggest being present in both.
Indeed, content delivery/access continues to evolve toward being more cloud based. That’s supportive of the premise that presence across devices is vital to capture users at various touch points, where they can have a continuous experience from device to device.
That and the strength of localized content stick out for me as key takeaways. We’ll continue to examine the many angles of this data, including subsequent reports that Dinan says will each drill deeper into the individual verticals examined.
Stay tuned for that, and in the meantime, lots of the above data and more can be seen in requisite infograph form, just below.