Survey finds small and medium businesses like mobile ads, but prefer signups to clicks

A new study conducted by Borrell Associates and mobile advertising platform Pontiflex has found 72 percent of small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) currently using mobile advertising are planning to either maintain or increase their spending levels over the next 12 months.

Borrell and Pontiflex surveyed more than 1300 U.S. and Australian SMBs about their future mobile advertising plans between August and September. The study found 45 percent of companies currently running mobile ads planned to maintain their spending over the next year and 27 percent said they would increase it. Of the companies planning to increase their mobile advertising spend over the next 12 months, 65 percent were expecting to spend 30 percent more on mobile advertising and 32 percent expected to spend between 11 and 20 percent more.

Although the survey found SMBs to be generally bullish about their mobile advertising prospects, 24 percent declared they did not know what their mobile advertising plans would be, and four percent indicated they would be decreasing their spend. 49 percent said they would be willing to spend more if their ads could generate higher ROI.

The survey also found a disconnect between the types of exposure SMBs wanted for their businesses, and the way mobile advertising is sold. While most mobile ad providers sell inventory based on the effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPMs), advertising based on impressions was the least desirable option for the SMBs surveyed. Of those that declared an advertising preference, 26 percent preferred to pay every time an advertising campaign generated a signup, 19 percent wanted to pay for clicks. Only six percent of respondents said they preferred to pay for impressions.