February 23, 2012, 11:53 AM

Nearly one in four tablet owners click on ads viewed on their devices

A Nielsen report also says that consumer trust ads on branded web sites.

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24% of tablet owners and 11% of smartphone owners have clicked an ad they were viewing on their devices to learn more about the product or promotion, according to a report today from The Nielsen Co.

The study, “State of the Media: U.S. Digital Consumer Report,” also found that 23% of tablet owners and 20% of smartphone owners made purchases via their devices. 21% of tablet owners and 11% of smartphone owners used their web-enable devices to learn more about businesses, while 13% of tablet owners and 7% of smartphone owners used the web-connected machines to use or request coupons.

The market research firm based its findings on multiple surveys and market panels, a Nielsen spokeswoman says. Nielsen says that its research highlights the important of what the company calls “Generation C,” consumers between the ages of 18 and 34.   

That age group makes up 23% of the U.S. population. “Yet they represent an outsized portion of consumers watching online video (27%), visiting social networking/blog sites (27%), owning tablets (33%) and using a smartphone (39%),” the report says. “Their ownership and use of connected devices makes them incredibly unique consumers, representing both a challenge and opportunity for marketers and content providers.”

The Nielsen report says that 33% of consumers with web-enabled mobile devices view as useful ads that offer information based on location—an online marketing technique commonly called geo-targeting. Additionally, 26% of consumers with such devices are more likely to look at ads if they have an “interesting” video; 20% of the consumers like ads that have interactive features.

The report also measured the percentage of online consumers who trust various marketing channels. At the top of the list are branded web sites, trusted by 52% of consumers, followed by TV commercials (46%), TV program placements (36%), ads on search engines (36%), online video ads (32%), ads on social networks (32%), online banner ads (29%), display ads on mobile devices (27%), and text ads on mobile phones (26%).

The report also described the most popular mobile shopping activities, as measured by the percentage of consumers with web-enabled mobile devices who had performed these tasks within the past month (the research was conducted late last year):

• Price comparisons while shopping inside stores, 38%

• Product browsing, 38%

• Reading online product reviews, 32%

• Searching for or using online coupons, 24%

• Buying products, 22%

• Scanning bar codes for price or product data, 22%

• Finding a local retail store, 18%

• Placing a bid via an online auction, 15% 

• Buying event tickets, 12%

• Buying music or videos, 10%

• Paying for a product at a point-of-sale, 9%

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