An Appetite for Apps and Advertising

Advertisers are clamoring to understand and target cell phone users through mobile advertising. With the prediction that the majority of cell phone users will have at least one smartphone by the end of 2011, it is impossible to ignore this emerging new advertising medium. Right now there seems to be a dearth of information regarding how individuals find applications (“apps”) to download and the extent to which people are receptive to viewing advertisements via mobile phone.

“The buzz surrounding mobile and tablet apps is deafening,” said Kelly Mayfield, IMAGES Senior Media Buyer + Planner. “Media companies of all sizes are considering how mobile apps might help a hurting bottom line. The benefits far outweigh the costs: advertisers are able to serve more targeted advertising, consumers receive only those ads relevant to their everyday lives, and the direct response mechanism provides measurable results for media companies.”

Fortunately, a recent Nielsen report reveals that the top two methods of discovering apps are: (1) searching application stores on their cell and (2) receiving a recommendation from a family member or friend. Therefore, as the app market continues to flourish, word-of-mouth marketing will remain critically important. Regarding advertisements, it is no surprise that teens are more likely to view mobile ads than adults. However, a surprise learning is that “men of all ages are more receptive to mobile ads than women.”

As applications like Apple’s iAd and Google’s AdMob compete to be the leader in app advertising and standardize the field, the future of this burgeoning medium remains to be seen. What do you think?

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