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Mobile delivers highest incremental sales lift per thousand impressions: report

Mobile advertising drives $26.52 in incremental sales per thousand impressions for consumer packaged goods brands, beating out digital video, TV and cross media, according to a new report from Nielsen Catalina Solutions. 

The report, Yes, Advertising Works. Now, What?s My ROAS Across Media Platforms?, also found that cross-media advertising does not drive a significant lift in return, as only a small percentage of consumers are being exposed across channels. A key insight is that with mobile having the lowest frequency across all media, marketers can buy more mobile and still expect strong returns. 

?Mobile is producing very high delivery per impression, but it has had the lowest frequency across all media,? said Leslie Wood, chief research officer of Nielsen Catalina Solutions. ?That signals to me that marketers can afford to buy more mobile and still expect to get solid returns. 

?There is room to increase spend, get more frequency and reach and still continue to expect the kinds of returns they?re getting because they have not reached the point of diminishing returns,? she said. 

Thinking strategically
The report looked at 450 CPG brands in the United States to benchmark the return on ad spend for linear TV, magazines, online display, online video, mobile and cross media. The findings are based on exposure data from Nielsen Media and data partners and sales data from Catalina frequent shopper card data. 

A key takeaway from the report is that there is no best media and choices should be driven by strategy and message. 

Findings include that magazines show the highest return on advertising spend, with an average return of $3.94 for every dollar spent. Display comes in second at $2.63, followed by cross media at $2.62, linear TV at $2.55, mobile at $2.45 and digital video at $1.53. 

Linear TV advertising drives the highest incremental sales per exposed household at $.33. This is followed by magazines at $0.26, cross media at $0.25, mobile and digital video at $0.23 each and display at $0.19. 

?Mobile drives the highest incremental sales per thousand impressions, at $26.52. Digital video follows at $23.48, linear TV at $20.56, cross media at $20.30 and display at $16.95.

?Cross-media didn?t show a much higher level of return when compared to the other media,? Ms. Wood said. ?We see strong synergy when people are exposed to more than one media type, but audiences seeing multiple media tend to only be 1 or 2 percent of a campaign, so it?s not changing top line results tremendously.?

Additional key findings include that expensive, frequently purchased items such as baby and pet products have a higher return on ad spent than items from less expensive categories such as food and beverage. 

However, bigger brands with shorter purchase cycles have a higher overall return on ad spend and incremental sales per exposed household, suggesting that the size of brand and frequency of purchase counts more than product category. 

Creative type also influences return on ad spend, with promotional campaigns delivering the highest return and campaigns featuring recipes the lowest. 

"Mobile has an ROAS that is on par with most other media,? Ms. Wood said. "While it is fairly expensive, the lift is quite high.  

"The CPM is therefore not out of line due to the kind of return it delivers,? she said.