Consumers are seeking greater input into what kinds of mobile offers they receive as their mobile internet usage grows, according to a new study from ABI Research.
Input Makes Mobile Promotions More Acceptable
Marketers who send consumers mobile promotions such as coupons and discounts have a significant amount of built-in resistance to overcome. The percentage of consumers who say they are fine with getting promotions slightly declined from 13% in December 2008 to 11% in February 2010. However, the percentage of consumers completely opposed to mobile promotions also declined in that time period, from 31% to 26%.
To gain acceptance among the remaining mass of consumers who are not completely accepting of or opposed to mobile promotions, marketers need to incentivize their promotions. The most effective means of doing so is to allow consumers to specify what promotions they receive. Forty-five percent of consumers say they are “not crazy” about mobile promotions but might be willing to accept them if they are allowed this input. That percentage is up significantly from 36% of consumers who felt that way in February 2008.
In addition, 33% of consumers say they are not crazy about mobile promotions but would be willing to get them if it made their mobile phone service cheaper. This percentage also grew noticeably since February 2008, when it stood at 27%.
Free Text Message Alerts Have Appeal
Another way for marketers to engage mobile consumers is through free text messages. Although 25% of consumers say they have no interest in receiving free text messages, some types of free text messages have close to 50% acceptance ratings.
The most popular form of free text message, reminders for appointments such as doctor or dentist visits, received interest from 46% of consumers. Other popular free text messages include location-specific safety alerts (44%), activity alerts such as school cancellations (41%), customer service alerts such as fraudulent activity or a due bill (39%), and daily weather reports and order status updates (36% each).
Mobile Internet Access Grows Sharply
One piece of good news for mobile marketers is that mobile internet access among consumers is growing at a rapid pace. Twenty-eight percent of respondents say they now access web sites from their phone at least once a day, 12 percentage points higher than the 16% level in 2008. Another 10% access web sites from their phone more than once a week but less than once a day, and 6% do so weekly. Based on these figures, ABI predicts that mobile marketing will be a $4 billion business by 2014.
There is still a significant amount of consumer resistance to mobile web access to overcome, however. A combined 45% of consumers never access web sites from their phone, regardless of whether they have the capability or not, and another 5% use mobile internet access less than once a month.
Mobile Marketing Popularity Rapidly Grows
Mobile marketing is steadily progressing toward much greater significance, according to a recent study from marketing technology provider Unica. When asked if their company currently uses or plans to use mobile marketing tactics, such as mobile messaging, applications and/or websites, 33% said their company currently uses these tactics,
Another 24% said their company plans to use mobile tactics within the next 12 months, and 13% said they will use mobile tactics in more than the next 12 months. Looking at specific mobile marketing channel usage and adoption rates, the use of the three major mobile marketing channels of SMS/MMS/WAP, mobile websites, and mobile applications should all roughly double in the next 12 months.