Consumers Accept, Welcome Mobile Marketing

Pamela Parker

Updated · Jan 30, 2002

A new study funded by mobile phone manufacturer Nokia and
conducted by HPI Research found that an overwhelming majority of mobile
phone users surveyed (88 percent) would be receptive to receiving electronic
coupons for bricks-and-mortar stores on their cellular phones.

In fact, the study found that nearly a third (31 percent) would actually
welcome such marketing.

The findings arise out of a survey undertaken by HPI Research in June 2001,
when 3300 people in eleven different global markets were questioned. The
markets covered were Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea,
Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.

Consumer acceptance of mobile marketing messages has been one of the
greatest fears of the nascent industry, but, despite numerous studies
documenting people's willingness to receive such messages, mobile marketing
has thus far failed to take off in any meaningful way. So, as the industry
remains in a testing — rather than an implementation — stage, the Nokia
study, though obviously funded by a party with a stake in expanding the uses
of cellular technology, sheds more light on the factors that need to be in
place for consumers to accept such messages.

First, consumers needed to feel that they had the choice whether or not to
receive messages. Secondly, the ability to bypass messages easily and
quickly was important. Thirdly, people surveyed sought customization — the
ability to filter the types of messages received. And lastly, mobile phone
users wanted a mutual benefit; for example, they wanted a reduction in the
cost of mobile service in exchange for getting marketing messages. Nearly
nine out of ten (86 percent) of those surveyed said mobile marketing would
be acceptable if it helped keep the cost of service down.

In a move that reflects the mobile phone industry's interest in developing
higher bandwidth networks, the study also asked users about mobile visual
entertainment. Of the consumers that expressed an interest in such
capabilities, 76 percent said they wouldn't mind if the programming was
interrupted by very short advertisements. Fifty-one percent said they
wouldn't see advertising as intrusive if it resembled the way ads are
presented on television.

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