Consumers Wary Of Mobile Location Marketing

Printed-Mail-BMobile has generated buzz lately as a rapidly growing tool for holiday shopping. But an annual survey by marketing services provider Epsilon suggests most people still aren’t crazy about getting messages on their mobile devices.
The company’s Channel Preference 2012 report found, for instance, that 80% of U.S. consumers surveyed are not yet interested in receiving location-based mobile offers during or after a visit to a brick-and-mortar store. Mobile users, however, were more likely to be open to receiving messages via digital means than non-users.
Consumers overall continue to favor direct mail over e-mail and company Web sites as communication methods. A majority surveyed again reported getting an emotional lift from postal mail, with 62% of Americans saying they enjoy checking their mailbox.
“It comes down to trustworthiness,” said Warren Storey, SVP of product marketing and insights, at Epsilon, the marketing services division of Alliance Data Systems. “Direct mail is still above lots of other addressable media." For example, direct mail had 18% trustworthiness versus email, at 11%.
Almost three-quarters (73%) said they get a lot of emails they don’t open, and 67% said they get too many emails in a day. The study also examined attitudes toward emerging marketing efforts across SoLoMo (social, location, mobile). It found that people are not quite ready to embrace location marketing in relation to receiving offers on their smartphones during or after a visit to a retailer.
However, Epsilon found that 40% to 50% of U.S. and Canadian smartphone and/or e-book readers were likely to prefer digital channels than non-device owners. Furthermore, U.S. tablet users like the convenience of their devices and were 50% to 60% more likely to prefer getting marketing information via email and the Internet than those without smartphones or e-readers.
When it comes to marketing in social media, a trust gap remains. Sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are rated as the least trustworthy sources -- each at less than 10%. In addition, consumers showed little interest in receiving offline information and offers from brands they have “Liked” on social sites, at 17% in the U.S.
“What the industry is seeing is a big move toward online media,” he said. “It's a much smaller channel than most of the traditional addressable media channels, but it’s growing at a much faster pace.” To help keep up, Epsilon parent Alliance Data earlier this month acquired digital marketing agency Hyper Marketing for $460 million.

The Epsilon findings were based on completed surveys from 1,991 U.S. consumers and 3,816 Canadian consumers conducted in June.

4 comments about "Consumers Wary Of Mobile Location Marketing".
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  1. Donald Faller from double wide media, December 4, 2012 at 11:16 a.m.

    This information says nothing.

  2. Mary Ann Parshall from Premier Data Direct, December 4, 2012 at 3:01 p.m.

    Direct mail continues to remain a trustworthy source due to the fact that it won't tell the world that you're visiting the location and using the coupon that you received. While some users are comfortable with the full disclosure of many mobile and online methods, a majority of the public remains leery. And for those that are on text and data plans, they are not willing to sacrifice those limited resources on advertising.

  3. Dave Meeker from Isobar, December 4, 2012 at 5:39 p.m.

    Direct mail may be seen as "trustworthy" because it is incapable of what technology brings mobile or web interactions. Sure, you can track responses once a customer commits, but there really isn't any comparison to the average impact/effectiveness of direct mail vs. a well put together digital effort. Not to mention, the fact that my 2 year old receives offers in the mail now that he has a frequent flier account is maddening. I can't tell you how many people I've heard complain about the volume of unsolicited mail that arrives at their homes, the majority of which gets tossed away. Not to be argumentative, but the reality is that smartphones are here to stay. Your comment about data plans is sort of moot considering a high volume of smartphone traffic is coming over private networks (wifi). I'd say that if you polled a generic sampling of consumers on which is more disruptive to them (direct mail vs. location-aware mobile ads), they'd throw that paper under the bus.

  4. Suneetha Malkani from Anvasion Inc, December 5, 2012 at 9:14 a.m.

    Agree with Mary Ann - privacy is important to the customer, and other media cannot beat Direct Mail on that count today. Creating a Mobile UX that provides the consumer the sense of security that his/her data is private, is key to getting consumers to accept and immerse in the mobile channel for brand communications.

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