September 5, 2013, 10:08 AM

Marketers are focusing more on mobile search and display ads

56% in a recent survey say they use mobile search marketing ads.

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Marketers are getting more bullish on mobile ads, particularly with mobile search marketing and banner display ads, according to a new report from marketing research and advisory firm Econsultancy and e-mail marketing services provider Responsys Inc.

The survey, conducted earlier this year of 890 businesses, including marketing agencies as well as retailers and other marketers, also found that 60% of companies said they had a strategy in place to integrate mobile marketing into overall marketing efforts. That includes 15% who described that strategy as a strong one, with the remaining 45% describing it as basic.

“There have been significant increases across every type of mobile advertising for the past year,” the report says.

The two areas of largest growth by far are mobile search marketing, which increased to a participation rate of 56% among marketers from 35% a year ago, and mobile display banner ads, with 48% of respondents buying those ads compared to 25%. Other areas of mobile advertising also showed significant if smaller growth rates: in-app advertising, to 33% from 22%; location-based targeting, to 31% from 22%; and mobile video ads, to 23% from 12%.

The survey also found, however, that marketers say their customers still tend to be slightly more engaged with advertising on PCs than on smartphones, though the difference between the two is becoming quite small. 37% said their customers were less engaged with ads on smartphones, down from 40% last year; 34% said their customers were more engaged with ads on smartphones, up from 33% a year ago. 29% said their customers were similarly engaged with ads on smartphones and PCs, up from 27% last year.

When asked to name the three marketing methods offering the greatest opportunities to drive growth over the next three years, 26% of marketers cited mobile web sites and 21% cited mobile apps. That put mobile behind the most-often cited opportunities of social media marketing (50%), e-mail (43%), web sites (35%) and search engine optimization (31%). But it put mobile web site and app marketing ahead of paid search (15%), web retargeting (13%), affiliate marketing (11%), online display advertising (8%), and text messaging (4%) as well as print media, telemarketing, TV, radio and outdoor advertising. 

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