Corporate Eye

CPG Mobile Advertising Spending Triples in One Year

shopping cartBetween 2011 and 2012, consumer packaged goods (CPG) advertisers tripled mobile advertising spending. That data comes from the Millennial Media Mobile Intel Series released this week which tracked its own ad partners and combined that data with research from comScore. According to the report, mobile ad spending among CPG advertisers increased by 235% from 2011 to 2012.

During the research period, 82% of CPG mobile ad impressions were tracked on smartphones while 18% were tracked on tablets. Mobile advertisers most frequently targeted consumers in five demographic buckets: foodies, pet owners, parents, avid shoppers, and household shoppers. Furthermore 40% of mobile advertisers tracked in this study used location targeting to maximize campaign ROI.

The biggest CPG mobile ad spenders identified in the Millennial Media research were beverages (43% of campaigns), cosmetics and hygiene, food, household products, and pet products. For the majority of these campaigns (46%), the primary goal was to raise brand or product awareness. Interestingly, Jack Neff of AdAge points out that this is a significantly higher percentage than is seen in overall mobile advertising where just 14% of campaigns have a primary goal of raising awareness.

The most interesting data for CPG mobile advertisers revealed in this study offers insights into how consumers use their mobile devices to gather information about consumer packaged goods as they’re in a store and actively shopping. According to the report, men are more likely to use their mobile devices while in a store than women to check product availability (47% of men versus 39% of women), compare prices (51% of men versus 38% of women), and find coupons or deals (47% of men versus 40% of women). On the other hand, women are more likely to use their mobile devices while in a brick-and-mortar store to take a picture of a product (29% of women versus 21% of men) and text or call family or friends about a product (51% of women versus 37% of men).

Based on these study results, CPG mobile advertisers are missing opportunities to get the right information in front of consumers when they’re in a store making a purchase decision. By focusing primarily on raising awareness, the 235% increase in CPG mobile ad spending between 2011 and 2012 was over-invested in awareness campaigns. A more balanced approach of awareness campaigns and campaigns that drive in-store purchases by providing the right information at the right time directly to consumers’ mobile devices will deliver better results.

Many CPG advertisers have figured this out and are making the necessary strategic shifts in their mobile advertising plans. Is your company one of them?

Image: Murat Cokal

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.