Do mobile display advertisements on your smartphone's web browser actually work? Despite their small size, mobile ads can have a big effect on consumers for certain products, a study says.
The mobile ads worked well for practical products like a washing machine and even cars but were unable to persuade people to buy just-for-pleasure items, like fancy watches, the findings showed.
"The mobile ad's strength is not adding new data, but reminding you of what you already know and making you think about the product again," said Miklos Sarvary from the Columbia Business School in the US.
Researchers found that the ads helped remind people about products they wanted.
"If a display ad for a car shows up on your smartphone, even if it is tiny and does not provide you with new information, it will reinforce what you already know about the product," Sarvary said.
For the study, researchers studied survey data from nearly 40,000 US consumers about their reactions to mobile display ads.
These findings could help marketers who are planning a multi-channel campaign for a product.
The study was published in the Journal of Marketing Research.