Insight/ Market Research

15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Mobile Advertising

by Giselle Abramovich
Senior & Strategic Editor

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Display ads on mobile devices have received a bad rap over the past couple of years, with some marketers going as far as to say they simply do not work. 

That's partly because mobile ads are difficult for publishers to sell and, often times, end up positioned as an add-on to a bigger-screen campaign. When compared with other channels, spend on mobile advertising, while increasing, also is rather low. So what does that mean for the future of mobile advertising?

Here are 15 stats to help you decide. 

1. Brand marketers’ mobile advertising budgets are on the uptick. The number of marketers who maintained annual mobile budgets exceeding $300,000 more than quadrupled, rising from merely 7 percent in 2012 to 32 percent in 2013 year.

2. Marketers view responsive design (54 percent), HTML5 (31 percent), and native advertising (25 percent) as very important developments in mobile advertising.

3. A study of mobile app and Web users found that 72 percent don't click on mobile ads because the screen is too small, and 54 percent said they don't tap on mobile ads because it's frustrating when mobile consumption is interrupted.

4. Mobile ads accounted for approximately 3.7 percent of all ad spend in 2013 ($6.2 billion). 

5. When it comes to what is driving the most growth in advertising at the moment, mobile continues to lead the way, growing by 81 percent this year in the U.S. market, with that rate slowing down to 61 percent in 2014 and 53 percent in 2015, when mobile will make up 8.4 percent of ad spend.

6. Global mobile advertising spending is forecast to rise 37 percent to reach $18 billion in 2014, up from the estimated $13.1 billion in 2013. 

7. Mobile ads in the retail and electronics categories had the highest average clickthrough rate (CTR), at 0.52 percent and 0.41 percent, respectively. 

8. The global mobile marketing and advertising market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 26 percent to reach $38.1 billion in 2018, up from $9.4 billion in 2012.

9. Up to 50 percent of the impressions served on a static mobile banner ad are from accidental clicks or "fat finger" taps.

10. Speaking of "fat fingers," mobile users are three times more likely to accidentally tap static banner ads than they are to click rich-media banners because static banner ads "appear to be part of the content, and may be tapped by the user unintentionally." The 3D and animated qualities of tich media are easier to differentiate from the app or Web site content.

11. In the 12 months ending July 2013, Facebook went from almost no mobile revenue to a massive 41 percent of its revenue coming from mobile ads.

12. Affluent customers are more likely to have engaged with mobile ads. Fifty-five percent of those who have clicked on a mobile advertisement have an annual income of more than $75,000. Twenty-nine percent of those who have clicked on a mobile advertisement have an income of more than $100,000. Forty-five percent of those with an income of more than $75,000 have made a purchase as the result of a mobile ad.

13. The most interest and interactivity with mobile ads (PDF) exists among the 25-to-34 age demographic. Specifically, 70 percent have made a purchase as a direct result of a mobile ad; 58 percent would be willing to provide personal information via a mobile Web site in return for a reward or coupon—twice as likely as those in the 45- to 54-year-old category; and 48 percent think more positively about their favorite brands after interacting with them via their mobile devices, significantly more than any other age group.

14. Marketers are enthusiastic about advertising through Facebook's mobile apps. About 75 percent said that marketing on Facebook's mobile app was "very" or "somewhat" important.

15. Sixty-four percent of survey respondents who have smartphones have made a mobile purchase after seeing a mobile ad. The bad news? Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) haven't received mobile ads from their favorite brands--which means some brands are missing the mobile boat.

About Giselle Abramovich

Giselle Abramovich is senior & strategic editor at Previously she wrote for outlets including Direct Marketing News, Mobile Marketer, Mobile Commerce Daily, Luxury Daily, and Digiday. Reach her at, or follow her on Twitter @GAbramovich.