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To keep up with the rapid adoption of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, industries have been increasing their mobile budgets in dramatic fashion, and the finance vertical is leading the way. A May report by mobile advertising network Millennial Media and comScore found that the worldwide finance industry had the largest mobile advertising budget out of all verticals on the Millennial Media platform. And continued growth in spending is almost guaranteed—comScore data showed that finance-related mobile ad budgets grew 34% between 2010 and 2011.
Advertisers said they were centering mobile finance campaigns on lead generation and registering potential customers; 70% of respondents named that as their top goal. Maintaining a market presence was a distant second at 16%. Those goals differed substantially from those of advertisers overall, which were more evenly split between focusing on lead generation/registrations and sustaining market presence, with market presence edging out lead generation.
When looking at mobile financial consumers, the study found them to have a remarkably high smartphone penetration rate of 80%. It also found them to be significantly more likely than the overall mobile audience to own a web-enabled mobile device that wasn’t a phone, such as a tablet or ereader. Optimizing the user experience for tablets can pay dividends for financial brands looking to lead users to websites or mobile apps.
In analyzing its clickthrough data on finance-related mobile ads, Millennial Media found that 54% of secondary actions prompted by finance ads consisted of enrolling, joining or subscribing, making it the most popular post-click action. Fifty-one percent of ads prompted mobile finance consumers to follow up on a click by placing a call, while 24% asked users to download a finance-dedicated mobile app.
Customers also showed an affinity for apps when asked how they preferred to access information on a mobile device. While most financial consumers still preferred to access information on a browser, a significant number were willing to use branded mobile apps instead. Customers appeared to be most likely to adopt apps when they aided them in frequent tasks, such as accessing a bank account.
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