Why Are Brands 'Ghosting' Consumers With Mobile Media?

The promise of mobile has always been for brands to have an always-on connection with consumers who have an internet-connected device in their hand or pocket.

But new research suggests many brands aren’t living up to that promise, and that a majority of consumers feel they’re being “ghosted.”

That’s the finding of new consumer research conducted by IDC for personalization platform Sinch.

The study found that 89% of people want to initiate and reply to two-way conversations with businesses via multiple mobile and social channels, but that more than half (53%) were frustrated when they discovered they couldn't reply to a mobile message sent from a brand.

Even when consumers do get a response, it doesn't always fit the “real-time” kind of expectations that mobile connectivity would otherwise suggest.

Nearly one in four consumers told IDC it takes a day or more to get a response from a business, and most said they were less likely to buy from that brand as a result of the delays.

While it’s possible that various workforce and staffing issues may have been exacerbating consumer frustrations about the lack of or a delayed response from brands, the IDC study also found consumers feel ghosted by AI-powered chatbot interfaces.

While 70% of consumers say they have interacted with chatbots, 95% of them said they “desired to be instantly handed off to a live agent.”

What’s the lesson here? Well, among other things  you should be careful what you wish for -- and be prepared to step up and respond in kind when you ask consumers to interact with you in an always-on way. Otherwise, you may be turning them off.

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