Most valuable users acquired via mobile ads between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Measurably Daring™

While mobile users tend to be engaged with their devices throughout the day, media consumption translates to the highest value for marketers between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., according to a new report from Fetch.

A key takeaway from the report is that not all mobile media can be treated equally, as the responsiveness and value of users varies by time of day as well as day of the week. For example, while late night users consumer a lot of content, they do not convert to acquisition value as much.

“Both user value and the ease of acquiring users varies a lot depending on the time of day,” said Dan Wilson, head of data at Fetch. “Weekend users engage at different times than weekday users, so they should take this into account when deciding on timing for their advertising.”

“It is important to factor in the time of day into our mobile marketing decisions and expenditure,” he said.

“We should be prepared to pay more for acquiring users at optimal parts of the day when they are more engaged, and more likely to interact with mobile ads, above the weaker times of day.”

Consumption vs. response

Mobile has a more consistent usage pattern throughout the day compared to desktop computers and tablets due to how consumers always keep their mobile devices nearby.

Key findings from the report include that late morning and early afternoon on workdays are key times for driving ad response and app user value for app users.

Additionally, weekend users start their media consumption later in the day, but continue consumption later into the evening.

Fetch reviewed media consumption levels and compared them to media response levels and found much more dramatic shifts in ad response levels for mobile app users even though media consumption levels where mostly consistent throughout the day.

Specifically, ad response levels see large uplifts during the late morning and early afternoon periods.

For the report, ad response is defined as an index of the volume of media which results in an action, either an app install or page view.

Ad response rates return to average levels after 1 pm and then start to drop significantly late at night even media consumption levels remain strong.

App user value

Fetch then went a step further to compare media consumption with app user value.

App user value is an index of the user engagement rate, with engagement defined in a number of different ways depending upon the campaign.

The results show that the app user value upwards tick is even more extreme than the ad response curve. As a result, Fetch states that app users acquired between 9 am and 1 pm tend to be of particular value to marketers.

Here, again, late night mobile users do not provide marketers with any particular benefit.

With much of the activity on mobile taking place during standard work hours, Fetch also compared weekdays with weekends.

While there is a big surge in media consumption at 9 am on weekdays, on the weekends, the highest consumption takes place later in the evening. Throughout the day, weekend activity is lower than on weekdays.

In terms of user value, behavior is similar throughout the day on weekdays and weekends until 5 pm.

At 5 pm on the weekend, the average user value drops considerably. While users are still consuming a lot of content, they do not want to convert anymore.

Late night weekend users are slightly more valuable than late night weekday users but both are relatively low.

The report is based on an analysis of aggregated anonymous data within Fetch that crosses several categories and sectors. The data was collected across a wide range of media activity during a three-month period.

There may be some differences in behavior by category. For example, gaming tends to be active later in the day.

One of the findings that surprised Mr. Wilson the most was the relative value of users acquired on the weekend versus a weekday.

“On average, a user acquired at the weekend is of lower value than a user acquired on a weekday,” Mr. Wilson. “This indicates that users are more engaged with their mobile device when they are in the work mode of the work week, and less connected during the weekend.

“The times when users are most likely to respond to your advertising don’t correspond to the highest value times, so marketers need to plan accordingly,” he said.

This article was first published in Mobile Marketer on 3 March 2015 and was written by Chantal Tode.