LONDON: Digital vouchers, text messaging and online search will be among the main drivers of UK mobile marketing during the next five years, a report has argued.

Airwide Solutions and mobileSQUARED surveyed leading telcos in the country, and found 61% believed coupons would become the dominant element of communications strategies in this category in 2015.

SMS and MMS scored 58%, and are likely to adopt a key position in the distribution of special offers and discounts by brand owners.

Search platforms, such as those run by Google and Microsoft, claimed third place on 45% overall.

A 54% majority of responding firms suggested opt-out services would be more important than alternatives where shoppers sign up to receive news, deals and similar material.

Meanwhile, 53% of contributors thought consumers must control their mobile profiles by 2015, compared with 7% agreeing wireless networks should assume this role, and 40% supporting a combination of the two.

"For mobile marketing and advertising to be truly effective, operators need to have customer information that enables targeted and relevant communications," said Jay Seaton, cmo, Airwide Solutions.

"Giving subscribers the choice to opt in or out of campaigns enables them to be user specific and ultimately provide more value."

Currently, Britons send over 11m text messages every hour, equating to approximately 7.7bn per month.

"This shows clear potential for mobile operators to capitalise upon the 15.4 billion engagements between consumers and the SMS medium that are generated each month," the study said.

Crucial capabilities required to exploit this channel include successfully coordinating and monitoring ROI, Seaton added.

"The widespread use of mobile messaging creates a far-reaching and significant marketing opportunity for brands which in turn, creates a significant revenue opportunity for mobile operators," he said.

"By putting a reliable infrastructure in place, and a means of controlling and measuring campaigns, mobile operators can deliver some of the most highly effective mobile marketing initiatives through mobile messaging."

Data sourced from Airwide Solutions; additional content by Warc staff