Mobile Advertising’s Biggest Issue is Fat Fingers and Accidental Clicks

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When people think of problems associated with mobile advertising it is almost always concerning ad fraud or ad blocking.  While these two things are absolutely big issues that need to be addressed, a new study shows that they are likely not the biggest problem.

Retale, a location-based mobile ad platform, conducted a survey that asked 500+ people about different aspects of interacting with mobile ads.  The results are somewhat concerning.  Here are a few key points found within the survey:

  • 60% of people say that it is usually an accident when they click a mobile ad
  • Just 13% click ads because they find them interesting
  • 64% of users report that it is unlikely that they would look at a mobile banner ad
  • 66% described them as useless or not very useful
  • 65% said that accidental clicks occur while reading the news or surfing the web

Pat Dermody, president of Retale, said: “Mobile display spend will hit $18 billion this year. Given the investment and with the majority of mobile banner clicks done accidentally, brands, marketers and agencies should reconsider their mobile strategies. Keep in mind, mobile display campaigns may suffer, not just from accidental clicks, but from viewability and fraud. To counteract these challenges and reach mobile users, other approaches need to be part of the mobile marketing mix.Mobile users aren’t showing any love to accidentally clicked ads. They’re too frustrated by the experience to care, which means more wasted dollars and opportunities for brands and marketers.”

“We need to engage users through mobile in a smarter, more effective way. Going programmatic in the mobile display space will help the efficiency but not likely the effectiveness.  The key is to a find a mobile platform in which the users welcome a branded or promotional message.”

As you can see, this is a very significant issue that is resulting in millions of unintentional (and therefore virtually pointless) clicks.  While the intent of the users is not fraudulent, the results are largely the same since the advertisers themselves are getting little, if any, value from the clicks.

NB: Similar findings existed three years ago, saying that mobile ads were 50% accidental clicks.

You can see the full survey results HERE.

What's your opinion?