Mobile marketing gains ground in US

08 July 2010

SAN FRANCISCO: A growing number of consumers in the US would like to access offers and coupons via their mobile phones, according to a study.

Placecast, the marketing firm, partnered with Harris Interactive, the research company, to survey 2,046 adults in the country.

Overall, one third of respondents that had opted in to receive mobile alerts from brand owners had visited a specific store after being sent information in this way.

A further 27% agreed their purchase decisions in bricks-and-mortar outlets had been influenced by this form of communications.

More broadly, 28% of participants were at least "somewhat interested" in signing up to programmes providing them with updates about new products, sales or discounts.

This constituted an uptick of 2% when compared with a similar report published last year, and climbed to a high of 42% among 18–36 year olds.

When asked to identify the categories where they would be most willing to follow this course of action, 68% chose the grocery sector.

Some 64% afforded such a status to restaurant chains, falling to 50% for fast food, 42% for electronics, 37% for coffee and beverages and 33% for beauty and fashion.

Women displayed a greater enthusiasm for adding their names to mailing lists in every segment assessed with the exceptions of electronics, sporting goods and promotions from bars and nightclubs.

In all, 40% of contributors said text messaging was either "extremely" or "very" important to them.

By contrast, just 7% of males and 3% of females were equally keen on location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla.

As these properties are only available on smartphones, which have a penetration rate of 21% at present, Placecast suggested the "reach for marketers through these platforms is still in question."

More positively, 37% of the sample that had already registered to take part in mobile marketing schemes thought targeted deals linked on their precise whereabouts could be "useful."

Elsewhere, 29% described this approach as "interesting" and 24% believed it was "more relevant and innovative."

"If done correctly and on an opt-in basis, location-based mobile marketing is resonating with consumers,” Alistair Goodman, ceo of Placecast, said.

"I think now that more data is becoming available to retailers, more exciting and valuableprogrammes will be created now that the technology and market receptivity is there."