Making mobile magic

Alice Manners

Alice was appointed CEO of IAB Australia in August 2013. She is responsible for the overall management of the IAB and achievement of the organisation’s objectives, to represent and promote the interests of members, and to grow the interactive advertising industry.

Last week we released our IAB/PWC Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER) for the full financial year ending 30 June 2015, which revealed the industry has grown 20 per cent year on year to reach $5.3bn.

The CEASA also reported that interactive advertising has confirmed its position as the largest advertising segment in Australia. It was good news for all in the industry, with every online advertising segments experiencing double-digit growth in the last financial year.

But one area stood out as the true star of the year: Mobile.

The data confirmed that the so called ‘year of mobile’ has finally and unequivocally arrived, with mobile advertising increasing 84 per cent to reach $1.1bn for the full financial year 2015. To put some context around this number, it means mobile advertising is now larger than both magazine and outdoor ad spend.

Impressive? Yes. Great growth? Absolutely. Yet somewhat frustratingly, mobile advertising spend is still lagging behind Australian consumer usage on mobile devices.

The reasoning for this is simple. For some time now, marketers and agencies have faced a lack of audience measurement data across digital devices to support their allocation of ad revenues to mobile. Without this data, it’s hard work for marketers trying to find the best way to earn the right to live in people’s pockets through their mobile device.

It’s been a point of contention and with good reason, so in 2013 IAB, Nielsen and a handful of publishers took the first steps to address the issue by commissioning a mobile panel pilot.

Fast forward to today and we have just released the inaugural IAB Nielsen Mobile Ratings report, which details how Australians aged over 18 years of age access content using their mobiles and tablets. The report, which draws its data from a nationally representative panel of mobile and tablet uses, will provide marketers with unparalleled insights into the mobile behaviours of the customers.

It’s something we as an industry should be very proud of, as Australia is just the fourth market in the world to have access to such data.

Interested marketers can download the full report here, but the top line findings from the report are:

  • When it comes to the gadget of choice in Australia, the smartphone is the most popular.
  • More time is spent on smartphone than any other digital device at 33+ hours a month.
  • Mobile devices (including tablets) drive shorter and more frequent sessions than desktop and laptops. The entertainment, social and search categories generate the largest audiences on smartphones and tablets.
  • There is a great deal of diversity in the content consumed on mobile devices: 75 per cent use it for banking, 70 per cent to shop, 70 per cent for video or movies; and 67 per cent for music.
  • Australians spend over four hours engaging with audio and video content on smartphones each month, and just under two hours on tablet.
  • Big brands resonate with, and are trusted by consumers, no matter what screen size. This is particularly in evidence for news and current affairs sites such as News and Fairfax.
  • Cars, jobs and real estate – Australia is a global leader in ad revenues in these classified categories and consumer use of these services on mobile mirrors this. In fact Australia outstrips other markets.

So where to next? By mid-2016 we will have one figure measuring ratings across all digital devices with data available daily. Agencies or advertisers with tagged campaigns will be able to access figures that provide a next-day view of an ad's online audience, making them comparable to TV measurement.

This will be the next step towards achieving the nirvana of a cross-platform advertising world, underpinned by cross-platform measurement.

Tags: online advertising, mobile advertising, mobile marketing, digital marketing, digital advertising

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