Advertiser Perceptions report shows audience remains the catalyst, programmatic buying is on the rise.

NEW YORK, NY – As smartphones get smarter and people spend more time on them, advertisers intend to keep spending more on mobile, according to a new Mobile Intelligence Report conducted by Advertiser Perceptions. Advertisers already place most of their social ads on mobile platforms and expect to put most video ads there within the year, primarily to reach Millennial and Gen X consumers. While they are principally running brand-focused advertising, advertisers are buying more programmatically and taking a performance approach to measurement.

“Advertisers are following their most desired audiences to mobile platforms,” said Randy Cohen, president of Advertiser Perceptions. “They’re planning to increase spending on all forms of mobile advertising where the largest and most target-rich audiences reside. However, the pace of growth will slow as the market saturates and the lines between mobile and digital/desktop evaporate.”

Two-thirds of advertisers are going mobile to reach Millennial and Gen X consumers, while 44% target Baby Boomers and 40% seek high earners.

All forms of mobile ads are growing. For example, last year, 50% of advertisers increased spending on social mobile advertising and 45% increased spending on mobile music advertising. Meanwhile, video spending has grown to the point where advertisers intend to devote more than 50% of mobile budgets to it this year.

Programmatic mobile is on the rise, as 44% of advertisers are making automated buys. Programmatic advertisers are primarily buying mobile web (64%), rather than in-app ads. “The momentum is clear: Mobile will be a programmatic buy in the years to come,” said Cohen.

Advertisers are choosing mobile partners squarely on the basis of audience and price. Such qualitative factors as ad placement and cross-media integration are second thoughts. And while most advertisers are giving more of their budgets to brand than performance ads – 57% vs. 43% – they’re taking a performance approach to measurement. Sales (45%) and return on ad spending (44%) come first, while brand measures come second (e.g., brand awareness 28% and offline response/traffic 27%). For all the attention paid to ad fraud, advertisers are far more concerned with measurement and transparency.

Advertiser Perceptions interviewed 255 advertisers, predominantly director level and above at agencies (52%) and marketers (48%), in November-December 2016.