LONDON: SMS and push messages are the preferred form of mobile marketing for almost half of UK consumers, although they lag behind the global average in this respect, new research has found.

A survey for mBlox, a mobile engagement business, polled 1,572 mobile consumers who had downloaded an app across eight countries including the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, and Spain. It found that while 49% in the UK indicated a preference for SMS and push messages, ahead of video advertising, banner or standard display ads and email, this figure rose to 59% globally.

The lower response rate in the UK may be partly due to the fact that consumers there received more text or push messages than those elsewhere, with 84% having had such a communication from a company.

But of these, 44% said they had found the content sent to them of value. Furthermore, having downloaded a company app, 78% of UK consumers said they would sign up for push alert notifications based on their current location.

Overall, 70% of UK consumers were likely to engage with marketing SMS messages, of which 66% were likely to engage with geo-targeted SMS messages and 69% to engage with push messages.

"These findings show that UK mobile marketers have a tremendous opportunity to utilise mobile messaging as a preferred channel for highly personalised, micro-targeted marketing campaigns," said Michael Becker, a strategic advisor to Somo, the mobile solutions company.

But he cautioned marketers to use the channel with care, since "trust and message value are critical to consumers".

Tom Cotney, CEO of mBlox noted that UK consumers were slightly more skeptical about SMS and push messages than their global counterparts, but added that it remained an important tool.

"Smarter mobile strategies that utilise consumer preference by including behaviour and location data in their design is the key to engaging consumers," he said.

Data sourced from mBlox; additional content by Warc staff