Brand in Hand, female iPhone users are the worst demographic in terms of interacting with mobile ads on the iPhone. The company, whose high-profile clients include Procter & Gamble, General Mills and American Express, has run 60+ mobile ad campaigns over the past two years. During that time, they've had the opportunity to study the engagement of iPhone users with their ads. So why are women ignoring the ads? Apparently, they're too busy actually using the apps.According to mobile marketing firm
Women Use the Apps, Ignore the Ads
From an article on AdAge, which reported on Brand in Hand's news in detail, the reason that the women were not engaging with the mobile advertisements came down to how they actually used their phones. The research showed that women, "especially so-called super-moms, are task-oriented and tend to use their smartphones to help them get things done."
In other words, these busy iPhone users didn't have time to goof off by clicking (or rather, tapping) through on a mobile ad. Ads were seen only as distractions that would take them away from the particular task at hand.
For advertisers trying to market to this particular demographic, the new findings will have an impact on what type of mobile campaigns will be run in the future. And given that only 18% of women age 18-49 have a smartphone today, according to Nielsen, smartphone advertisements just won't deliver the numbers that advertisers need. At least for now.
A Better Alternative to Mobile Ads?
Although the AdAge article didn't go into any detail about how marketers could engage smartphone-owning women in different ways, we think that there's at least one company that may have figured it out. Instead of offering distracting mobile banner ads that get in the way of the task that needs to be done, food and beverage giant Kraft introduced their own iPhone app instead.
This branded effort, dubbed "iFood Assistant" (iTunes link), is a recipe app that helps users plan meals. This fits in perfectly with how Brand in Hand claim women use their smartphones - they launch apps designed for a particular purpose. Yet this time, while doing so, the women (and men, too, we suppose) are also engaging with the brand itself because the recipes featured in the iFood Assistant app include Kraft food products of course.
This app is so successful that Kraft is even able to successfully charge for it, something that rarely works for branded apps. But Kraft's app sells - and sells well - priced at 99 cents in the iTunes App Store. They even hit their 3-year download goal in a matter of weeks, said Ed Kaczmarek, Kraft Foods director of innovation.
While at the moment, Kraft's iPhone application appears to be the exception and not the rule when it comes to creative marketing efforts, it's a great example of how mobile marketing could and perhaps should be done, especially if you want to engage busy, task-oriented women.