SAN FRANCISCO: US consumers have expressed growing enthusiasm for mobile alerts from brands, suggesting that these offers are more relevant to them than coupons, new research has found.

Placecast, a provider of location-based marketing and loyalty programs, conducted a poll among 2,072 US adults in in May asking participants how interested they would be, assuming they granted permission, in "receiving mobile alerts about new products, sales and/or promotions from your favourite merchants, restaurants, or stores on your mobile phone/smartphone?"

Fully 45% said they were at least somewhat interested, almost double the 26% that expressed this sentiment in 2009 when Placecast carried out a similar survey.

More than three quarters (78%) of those who said they found location-based alerts useful also believed that a local mobile offer would be more relevant to them than traditional coupons.

"When it comes to local offers on their phones, consumers are not only growing accepting, but expecting of them," said Alistair Goodman, chief executive of Placecast, in commemnts reported by GoMo News.

"Savvy brands will carefully consider how much of their digital spend is going to mobile, particularly local-mobile," he added.

The survey also found that 89% of respondents felt that local mobile offers would be easy to act on, while 87% said they could become aware of a retail location they had not known before.

Such offers could also lead to consumers trying new things (83%) or making spontaneous purchases as they were already near the store (73%).

Goodman also saw companies like Facebook and Google "being handed a huge opportunity to leverage their massive audience" as part of the process of targeting these mobile alerts.

"The key is for the ads to be perceived as a valuable service by their users, not unwanted or intrusive," he said.

Separately, location analytics firm Placed has launched a product it claims will be able to tell if a mobile campaign succeeds in driving customers to retail locations.

Placed employed its 100,000-stong panel of opted-in users to determine which have been exposed to an ad in a campaign and then to track if those users subsequently visited the advertised location.

Data sourced from GoMo News, MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff