Nielsen: Mobile targeting is getting better, particularly when targets are narrower

In its new benchmarks report, Nielsen finds overall on-target percentage holds relatively steady. Publishers continue to outperform platforms and ad networks.

Mobile userMobile ad campaigns are getting better at reaching their intended audiences, according to new data from Nielsen released Tuesday.

The benchmarks report looks at on-target percentage, which is the percentage of ad impressions delivered to the targeted audience out of the total number of impressions served during a campaign. Mobile had an on-target rate of 60 percent, up from 49 percent in Q1 2015.

In last year’s report, the total digital on-target percentage for digital advertising campaigns in the US was 61 percent. This year, that benchmark was 59 percent. Nielsen broke out desktop for the first time this year; desktop’s on-target benchmark was 60 percent.

US campaigns targeted to people ages 18–34 and 25–44 had a better chance of reaching those audiences on mobile than on desktop. However, campaigns targeted more broadly to people between the ages of 18–49 had a greater percent of ad impressions delivered on desktop than on mobile, according to a new benchmarks report from Nielsen released Tuesday.

Nielsen says campaigns that had the broadest targets were more successful at accurately reaching males, while narrower targets reached women more successfully. Mobile campaigns saw more success in reaching females, while desktop campaigns performed better in successfully reaching males.


Publishers delivered higher on-target rates than platforms and ad networks for all key age range targets. Nielsen did not break down performance by mobile and desktop.


The data is compiled from roughly 40,000 Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings campaigns through June 30, 2016.


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