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PointRoll Mobile Research Reflects Differences in Consumer Behavior by Device, Driving Ad Engagement

Interaction Rates Increase on iPhone, Brand Time Grows on iPad; Findings Point to Increased Time Spent on Tablets and Increased Interaction and Click Through Rates on Smart Phones, Presenting Opportunity for Advertisers (July 18, 2011)

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 07/18/11 -- Today PointRoll, a Gannett Company and the leading provider of digital marketing technology, released research on mobile advertising effectiveness revealing that consumers are using smart phones and tablets in very different ways, presenting an opportunity for advertisers to customize campaigns by device. With a deeper understanding of how consumers engage with ads on mobile platforms and devices, marketers should take advantage of the innate characteristics of each.

Findings indicated that consumers tend to use iPhones for practical activities such as store locators, maps, and click to call, while iPad users participate in more leisurely activities like reading the news, watching a video and playing games.

Effectiveness insights like these help brands to deliver campaigns that play to the strengths of each device in a cross-platform effort with features like geo-targeting and click-to-call for ads on smart phones and video and gaming for tablet ads.

"We're seeing that the more leisurely experience of tablets is driving higher time spent with the ad and engagement within the ads themselves, while ads on smart phones see less time spent, but higher activity and click rates as they tend to be more functional and action-oriented," said Rob Gatto, CEO of PointRoll. "The biggest takeaway from this research is that each medium has inherently different consumer behavior patterns. Marketers have to be at each touch point and create an experience that capitalizes on each device within that medium."

PointRoll's mobile research analyzed interaction rates (frequency of user taking an action to interact with the ad), brand time and tap/click-through rates for both iPhones and iPads.


  • Interaction rates on the iPhone have increased by up to 61 percent in Q2 2011 compared to Q2 2010. This is likely as a result of increased iPhone adoption and consumers realization that tapping an expandable ad won't interrupt their content experience.
  • Brand time on the iPhone decreased from Q2 2010 to Q2 2011 as ads are now being designed more around interactive utility (tap to call, mapping, click through to download app, etc.) versus long user experiences. iPhone ads with video showed the highest time spent.
  • Click-through rates increased by 92% in Q2 2011 versus Q2 2010, as users click through to calls, maps or other apps.


  • Brand Time on the iPad increased by more than 30 seconds in Q2 2011 over Q2 2010, as ads have become more interactive and full featured. Many of the 2010 iPad ads featured a single video whereas executions in 2011 may have multiple videos, photo gallery, mapping, and other interactive functionality, leading to more time spent with the brand.
  • Interaction rates remained consistent year over year, though this will likely follow the same growth pattern as the iPhone as adoption continues to increase.
  • Click-through rates remain low at around 0.01% as users get a strong brand experience within the ad and without requiring a click to other content.

More information can be found here.

"After debating the value of the 'click' in measuring display campaign success for years, mobile advertising and especially tablets may be the final nail in the coffin for the click-through," said Cat Spurway-Hepler, SVP of Strategy at PointRoll. "While many are still focusing on the mobile click, this information makes it clear that we need to consider each device in developing more representative success metrics, as the inherent interactive elements of mobile devices engage consumers differently than the PC and other digital mediums."

PointRoll's mobile ad serving capabilities include multiple formats, both HTML5 and Flash, and features such as gaming, video, coupons, surveys, send-to-friend, galleries, localized and dynamic creative optimization, and much more. In addition to standard in-app and mobile browser ads, PointRoll also offers unique and exclusive mobile formats including the Sticker and Peelback, enabling brands to take advantage of interactive features and formats.

PointRoll was the first to market with expandables and interactive ads on the iPad and iPhone and is the first and only provider to offer dynamic mobile and tablet ads. Learn more about PointRoll's mobile offerings here.

About PointRoll
PointRoll, a Gannett Company (NYSE: GCI), is the leading provider of digital marketing services and technology. PointRoll enables advertisers, agencies and Web publishers to create, deliver and measure interactive and action-inspiring online video, rich media display, digital circulars, mobile, and social campaigns. Delivering both the art and science of the digital engagement, PointRoll provides the creative tools, analytics, distributed content, and expertise marketers need to effectively engage consumers and make a memorable and measurable impression. Evolving beyond the banner, PointRoll allows marketers to find consumers wherever they are across any digital platform and deliver a relevant and engaging brand or direct response experience, dramatically improving ad effectiveness. Serving more than 500 billion impressions for more than two-thirds of the Fortune 500 brands, PointRoll delivers measurable online advertising campaign results. For more information, visit or follow us @pointroll.

Corie Pierce

Copyright @ Marketwire

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