Almost half (47%) of U.S. smartphone users ignore in-app ads, and 43% find them disruptive, according to a new Forrester study. Only 28% found these ads to be relevant — and just a quarter said the ads were inventive or creative. Based on these findings, the report concludes that marketers are not crafting ads carefully enough to suit the smaller smartphone screen and appeal to the task-oriented mindset of on-the-go consumers. But it also underscores the potential for in-app ads as 40% recall seeing ads for an app, app upgrade or brand and product in an app.
Plus, half of smartphone owners who use apps and have seen at least one in-app ad have researched and/or made a purchase after seeing an ad. Ads for app upgrades are the most likely to result in a purchase (20%), while those for products or services saw the lowest conversion rate, at 11%.
In-app ads for new apps or apps related to ones they are using were the most pervasive type of ads — seen by 47% — followed up ads for app upgrades (40%), and brands or products (37%). The balance included either none of the above or survey participants couldn’t recall the ad type.
The Forrester study emphasizes the importance of getting advertising right in apps, given the growing adoption of mobile devices and apps generally. Last year, about two-thirds of all mobile phone users had apps, up 22% from 2011. And 80% of mobile time takes place in apps rather than the mobile Web, according to comScore.