Mobile campaigns more likely to hit targets: study

Canada is middling in terms of how many campaigns hit their target audience, but success rates are improving over time.
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Nielsen Media has released its fourth annual Digital Norms measurement study, which looks at how often digital ad rates hit their target audience — and what platforms and verticals they’re most likely to hit them on.

The study, which analyzed more than 8,900 campaigns and 44 billion impressions in Canada, found that the country is on par with the global average, with 60% of campaigns successfully engaging their target audience in the 25 to 54 demo (the highest success rate was a tie between Germany and Brazil, at 72%), and 62% in the 18 to 34 demo (Brazil led the pack at 69% for this group). Globally, 60% of campaigns hit targets in 25 to 54 and 62% hit the targets in the 18 to 34 demo.

While Canada was at the middle of the pack in terms of accuracy, the rates have risen slightly over last year. Success with persons 25 to 54 rose from 57%, the 18 to 49 category rose slightly to 72% up from 71%, while 18 to 34 held steady at 62%.

The most prominent vertical in Canada — both in terms of campaigns run and on-target impressions — is the consumer packaged goods vertical. Half of all campaigns run were in that vertical, with the ads having an accuracy rate of 51%. CPG was followed distantly by shopping/retail (19% of campaigns, 12% accuracy).

Campaigns targeted specifically to either males or females under the age of 15 were the least likely to hit their targets, with only 21% rate of success. The highest success rates came from campaigns not targeted toward any gender and geared at persons over 30, with an 84% success rate.

Target success has improved across the board, even for harder-to-hit targets such as the 15 and under, gender-specific crowd. The success rate in that group has gone up from 18% in Q2 2016. The biggest rate of improvement was in the category of persons 15 and under, how at 38% (up from 30% in Q2 2016).

For those broadly targeted campaigns, display tends to perform better (highest at 91% for persons over 30). For narrower-focused campaigns, video out-performed display, although neither performed as well as they did for broader campaigns (for example, for gender-specified campaigns targeted at people under 15, video had a 17% success rate compared to display at 13%).

Impressions on mobile surpassed those on desktop in mid-2016 and remains well ahead of desktop in most demographics. The biggest success rate for mobile was in persons 18 to 49 (82%). That group was also the highest success rate for desktop (66%). The largest gap of success rate between mobile and desktop was in females 18 to 49 (68% for mobile, 40% for desktop).

When it comes to brand lift (the rate of awareness after exposure to an ad compared to before exposure), an average of 50% lift was observed across verticals and demographics (with an average of 8% awareness before the ad, and 12% awareness after). For favourability, 75% of ads saw an increase after exposure, a significant difference from 2016 (38%).

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