We Welcome Mobile Ads -- Just Not Too Many


Marketers be aware: U.S. consumers are open to the idea of getting offers on their mobile phones (particularly offers from their wireless companies), but they don't want to be inundated with them.

According to Upstream, a provider of mobile marketing technology, and Luth Research, 70% of smartphone owners are interested in being notified by their carriers about offers such as cell phone plan upgrades, discounts and special offers. The mobile carriers, in fact, were preferred sources of this information, even more so than deal providers like Groupon or LivingSocial. According to the survey of more than 2,000 customers, 28% of cell phone users trusted their mobile service provider, while only 4% trusted the deal sites.

"Carriers are closing the gap on brands with respect to consumer openness and receiving marketing alerts," Michael Linnert, North American General Manager for Upstream, tells Marketing Daily. "They interact with their customers regularly through new phone and plan purchases, customer support, billing, and other factors that make up the customer experience."



But when using mobile marketing, restraint is advised. According to the survey, 74% of cell phone users preferred less than two notices from their carriers each month, while 56% said they would like the opportunity to specify the number of notices they receive from their service provider.

"Brands have a limited number of opportunities to connect with their customers and prospects over mobile," Linnert says. "This limit of two alerts per month places a huge premium on making each interaction with a consumer count through optimized communications."

Ignoring these boundaries can have serious consequences. More than half (56%) of the consumers said they would change carriers if they were contacted more than that, a quarter of those people said they would make such a change within a month.

"Mobile is not a broadcast, volume- or spam-driven game, but rather a very personal medium. If brands do not respect the personal nature of mobile and 'over-contact' their customers, it can have dire consequences, such as opt-outs and churn," Linnert says. "Even if customers do not opt-out or leave, they will develop a 'blind spot' regarding messages that come from an overly aggressive brand or carrier, and there will be a precipitous drop in response and conversion rates."

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