road sign split arrow

Recently, we examined the growing trend in mobile social advertising: already mobile ad revenues for Twitter and Facebook make up about half their profit. Still, B2B marketers are hesitant to adopt this channel into their marketing programs. According to a new study by researchers at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, they may have good reason.

The study compares users’ engagement with ads on desktop versus mobile devices. The key stat: “the typical consumer, on a daily basis, performs an average of 8.0 sessions on a mobile device and 2.16 on a computer-based browser. However, the average session on a mobile device lasts about 15 minutes while on a computer it lasts approximately two hours.”

So while consumers interact more often on their mobile devices, their attention is fragmented: desktop users have longer durations of undivided attention than do mobile users – by 47.5%.

Another crucial takeaway from the study is that mobile users “were less likely to click on an ad that appear [sic] on a mobile device versus a computer.” Here were the most common reasons:

–       72% said the size of the screen is too small
–       70% responded that they are usually busier doing something else with their device
–       69% say it is not easy to return to the original position after click
–       60% said it is less convenient to access the Internet on a mobile phone

So, what does this mean for B2B marketers? Being aware of your audience – and through which device you may be reaching them – is extremely important to implementing an effective marketing program: the same person may react to an ad on their desktop, but ignore it on their smartphones. Mobile is still an important channel, though. The study found that, although mobile users may have shorter spans of undivided attention, they are just as immersed – if not more immersed – in content as desktop users. And with the explosion of mobile device usage, it’s safe to assume this channel is only growing. While advertising may not always be the most effective approach to reaching mobile audiences, content-driven marketing can be highly impactful. B2B marketers who create engaging and valuable mobile experiences – and provide content that B2B buyers are hungry for – will go far in connecting with these target audiences.

Read more about Tuck’s study here.