Search & Social Advertising

How Media Choice Impacts Social Media Ad Effectiveness: Report

social media

Digital Turbine, in collaboration with Qrious Insight, released a groundbreaking report series on social media advertising performance in light of the rising tide of mobile game playing. The first in the “Game”-Changing shift series focuses on QSR brands and urges advertisers to look at their media mix to determine if they can better reach audiences that spend more time in media channels they aren’t currently buying. The report concludes that if QSR brands had reached the Mobile Gaming-First segment as effectively as social audiences, they would have boosted reach by 18%.

The reports’ unique insights draw from consumer behavioral data passively collected from over twenty thousand consumers during 2023. Through their opted-in consumer panel, Qrious Insight, the research partner for the study, tracked overall mobile use, social and YouTube app usage, website usage, restaurant visits, and detailed info on QSR advertising exposure within Social Media and YouTube. Detailed behavioral data of leading QSR brands, including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, Dunkin Donuts, and Burger King, were also analyzed.

By segmenting consumers based on their actual media channel consumption – primarily whether they used mobile games or social/YouTube more dominantly – and then analyzing social media and YouTube ad exposures, the report indicated a paradigm shift in advertising strategies. Key findings included:

  • QSR Brands Are Not Reaching The Mobile Gaming-First Segment
    • The “Mobile Gaming-First” segment spent 2.5x times more time playing games than on social media. This created an inequity in ad exposures across the two segments. For every ad that a “Mobile Gaming-First” was exposed to, the “Social/YouTube-First” audience was exposed to 2.6 ads. Social/YouTube ad campaigns also reached only 47% of the “Mobile Gaming-First” audience, compared to 77% of the “Social/YouTube-First” audience. The net result is that If the reach of Social/YouTube campaigns within the “Mobile Gaming-First” QSR segment had been in line with their reach within the “Social/YouTube-First” QSR segment, overall reach across the entire QSR audience would have increased by 18%.
  • All Leading QSR Brands Found to Under-deliver
    • Even leading brands with large marketing resources and budgets could not reach the “Mobile Gaming-First” audience as efficiently as the “Social/YouTube-First” segment. Chick-fil-A was the most efficient, but they still exposed only one ad to the “Mobile Gaming-First” audience for every 1.3 ads the “Social/YouTube-First” audience was exposed to.
  • The Mobile Gaming-First Segment is Massive
    • Mobile gaming has emerged as a formidable media contender, being the most-used mobile channel for approximately 4 in 10 QSR brands’ customers.

Andrew Moffatt, CEO of Qrious Insight, stated: “Media measurement for advertising must go beyond simply understanding how many people use different platforms and dig deeper into what they are doing and why. This report dissects how different types of media engagement can deeply impact the effective reach of your advertising. While you might think you are reaching a large audience, you are only effectively reaching a fraction of that. This true and impactful insight cannot be gained by survey recall but must be uncovered using passively tracked behavioral data. ”

Commenting on the report, Jon Hudson, VP of Global Sales at Digital Turbine, remarked: “Brand advertisers have blind spots in their media mix that they can evolve by better understanding consumers’ actual mobile behaviors. When brands aren’t advertising in the dominant media channel of a major segment of their customers, the campaign’s overall impact is sub-optimized. Brands must adapt by embracing mobile gaming as a pivotal component of their media mix.”

The report emphasizes the importance of dynamic and comprehensive advertising strategies as consumer habits evolve. Digital Turbine and Qrious Insight remain at the forefront, empowering brands to navigate the ever-changing digital landscape with precision and innovation.

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