LONDON: Spending on mobile marketing in the UK will increase by around 150% over the next five years, according to a study by technology research consultancy Vanson Bourne for telecoms network O2.

The survey of marketing and IT directors at 100 leading brands also found that 60% of respondents perceived mobile marketing as a more effective medium for conducting targeted campaigns than more "traditional" advertising formats.

The personalised form of communications afforded by mobiles was also said to result in higher response rates than witnessed by regular media. 

Almost a third of respondents said they had employed text messages as a marketing tool, with the use of "text-to-win" competitions and "text-to-call back" also increasing by 20%.

Retail and financial services were the most popular categories for mobile advertisers among the study's participants.

Says Simon Dean, O2's head of mobile media: "With more consumers than ever browsing the web through their mobile handsets, there is a significant and largely untapped audience for brands to target their customers directly."

However, half the marketers who had yet to try mobile campaigns cited concerns that their messages would be perceived as the equivalent of junk mail.

The survey was conducted in May - prior to the breaching of the world economic dam - but the report suggests that mobile media spend will be resistant to the economic downturn, and even offer advertisers a means of saving money.

Opines Dean: "One in ten of those we surveyed already think mobile marketing has saved their business at least £1 million ($1.7m; €1.3m) when compared to other marketing solutions.”

Data sourced from Brand Republic; additional content by WARC staff