Consumer attitudes to mobile marketing
The results of a new survey from Lightspeed Research for Brand Republic reveal consumers' attitudes towards mobile vouchers and location-based marketing messages.
Lightspeed Research ran a survey for Brand Republic on its UK online panel in October 2010 to understand how consumers are currently using mobile location services, including voucher applications, and their attitudes to them. All 1,001 respondents owned a smartphone.
Attitudes to mobile voucher apps
Around one fifth said they had downloaded a voucher app to their mobile, while just over one quarter (28%) had never heard of these kinds of applications.
Men are more likely to have downloaded a voucher app than women (21% vs 14%). In terms of age range, at 20% those aged 18-34 are most likely to have downloaded a voucher app, closely followed by 35-54 year olds at 19% (Chart 1).
The majority of respondents (59%) who had downloaded a voucher app had actually used one of the vouchers they received. Men were more likely to have made use of the vouchers than women.
Have you ever downloaded an application to your phone that allows you to retrieve or use store vouchers?
Attitudes to mobile vouchers were overwhelmingly positive: the majority of respondents said they would like companies to send vouchers and discount offers direct to their phones. This proportion increases to 72% for 18-34 year olds. Although far fewer 55-64 year olds would like to receive vouchers to their phone, one quarter would still like to receive them (Chart 2).
Proportion that would like companies to send discount / special offer vouchers to their phone
Receiving mobile voucher apps
We wanted to understand how smartphone owners would like to receive their vouchers, so we gave respondents a number of options, and asked them to rank them in order of preference from one to six.
The chart below shows the average rank achieved by each option. Respondents prefer to download an app to receive vouchers only for brands they select.
Tying for second place were receiving a voucher while they were near or in-store and downloading an app that gives vouchers for a whole range of brands. Entering an SMS code when they are in-store was the least popular option.
Preferred method for receiving vouchers to phone
For marketers planning to use mobile vouchers, the good news is that there is a real appetite for them. Almost half of those surveyed would like to receive vouchers whenever there is an offer or a specific deal available. One in five would like to receive vouchers when they are near the store, and 16% would like to receive them while in store
When would you prefer to receive vouchers to your mobile?
The idea of receiving vouchers whenever offers are available is particularly attractive to 18-24 year olds (Chart 5). Younger respondents were also more likely to prefer receiving vouchers when they are near or in a store compared to other respondents.
The message is clear: marketers wanting to target older smartphone owners with mobile vouchers have more work to do to convince them to agree to receive them.
When would you prefer to receive vouchers to your mobile?
In-store mobile vouchers
We then specifically asked respondents if they would like to receive vouchers when they were walking near a store, or actually in the store. More than a quarter (28%) were happy to get vouchers in this way, with a further 48% willing to receive vouchers if they had registered with the store in some way.
Only one quarter (24%) were not willing to receive vouchers when they were in or near a store. Women are more likely to prefer receiving vouchers when in/near a store only if they have registered with the store in some way. Once again, 18-34 year olds have the strongest preference for being registered with the store in some way.
Would you be happy for a store to send vouchers to your mobile whilst you were in the store or walking close by?
Most smartphone owners think that companies should only send vouchers if you have "opted-in" to such a service, with women and 18-34 year olds the most likely to hold this opinion (Chart 7, Chart 8).
Thinking about vouchers for special offers - do you think companies should:
Attitudes to mobile marketing messages
In complete contrast, enthusiasm for mobile vouchers is not matched by enthusiasm for marketing messages - only 19% would like to receive these to their phones. Those aged 55-64 are the least enthusiastic.
Proportion that would like companies/stores to send marketing messages to their phone
Even fewer respondents would be happy to get marketing messages when they are in or near a store (12%) - although 39% would be happy to get these messages if they had registered with the store in some way - making a total of 51%.
Once again having the power to opt in to control marketing messages on the smartphone is important. When we asked respondents about receiving marketing messages on their phones, the vast majority believed that companies should only send them if recipients had signed up or agreed to them.
What the research suggests is that smartphone owners are very happy to receive vouchers for discounts and special offers when they are out and about in specific stores or whenever relevant discounts are available.
These vouchers can be sent by text message or via an app that consumers download. However, despite a willingness to engage with brands when there is a pay-off, there is very little appetite for pure marketing messages sent to the mobile.
Thinking about marketing messages - do you think companies should:
Ralph Risk, European marketing director, Lightspeed Research
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