Consumers are growing accustomed to seeing ads on their mobile phones. And many find these pitches helpful as they consider where to eat dinner or decide which brand of laundry soap will best meet their needs. However, consumers have definite preferences about the type of ads they prefer to see on their smartphones. Marketers  should consider these preferences as they develop their ad campaigns.

Harris Interactive recently carried out a survey for Pontiflex and reported that, by far, consumers like to get coupons, deals or newsletters as mobile ads when compared to update offers by app developers and commercials/video ads:

  • Men (ages 35-44) 82%
  • Women (ages 35-44) 77%
  • All adults 63%

Only 38% of consumers prefer to see offer updates from app developers and just 15% want to see commercial/video ads. These statistics are a stark contrast to a different study on tablet computers that I highlighted last month. In that study, Adobe research found that tablet users preferred ads that contained video and interactive elements.

The Pontiflex research found that “smartphone users also like ads to keep things simple by leaving them within the app where the ad appeared.” Even among  the technically savvy 18-34 year old smartphone users, a vast majority, 73%, want ads to open within an app.

Analysts believe these results are linked to the general uses of these devices. Tablet users may be more likely to enjoy their devices in a relaxed environment, at home or in a coffee shop, and have a larger screen space to engage with. Smartphone users are probably more likely to be checking ads, apps, and email on the go. They have a limited time frame and attention span to grasp what is being advertised.

Marketers should  keep these differences in mind and show simplified ads on smartphones.

[Source: The Differences Between Mobile and Tablet Advertising. Emarketer.com. 16 Feb. 2011. Web. 1 Mar. 2011]