PocketMath is a real-time bidding for mobile ads through an easy to use self-serve platform. Geotargeting to the city of Austin during SXSW Interactive between March 8th and the 11th, we wanted to test if co-branded mobile ads units including SXSW would perform better or worse than standard mobile banners. We tested over 3 ad sizes, 320×50, 300×250, and 728×90 across all devices and platforms where Austin mobile publisher inventory was available.
Delivering 290,335 impressions including SXSW, there were 1070 clicks, for a 0.37% click-through rate (CTR).
For non-branded, we delivered 288,915 impressions, saw 1097 clicks, for a 0.38% eCTR, which was not statistically greater.
Wow, 0.37% branded versus 0.38% non-branded is not significantly different.
In typical marketing campaigns one might estimate a 10-20% higher conversion rate in branded units, but that didn’t seem to matter to mobile users over SXSW.
Battery drain concerns and the fluid nature of going with the flow in Austin leaves lows expectations for mobile technology research during the festival. Your typical brand marketer might say you’re reaching “influencers” at SXSW where everyone you seemed to meet has thousands of Twitter followers. Branding can still be important during such a festival, whether or not performance was the same between a SXSW unit or standard one.