Industry body the Mobile Marketing Association is pretty chuffed about the results of its latest survey, where it asked mobile users how they felt about being marketed to via their phones. However, the results raise a few questions if you’re a disinterested observer.
For example, one in four respondents to the survey expressed interest in mobile marketing. The MMA says that means “interest in mobile marketing remains as high as it was in the previous two surveys”, but the alternative view would be that three out of four mobile users have consistently NOT been interested.
Weirdly, one in 20 respondents (5%)had participated in mobile marketing, yet the MMA says 10% (i.e. one in ten) have used their mobiles to receive and redeem coupons. I’m a bit puzzled by that apparent contradiction, unless it’s 10% of the 5%.
I’m also a bit dubious about the way the MMA uses the data that mobile users aged 13-24 send and receive more than 50 text messages a week, with half of all users texting at least once a week. “This usage shows that most mobile users are at least familiar with text messaging, if not regular users, making it an effective tool for mobile marketing campaigns.”
Well, yes, but all those people are using text messaging to communicate with each other, rather than be marketed to. They might not welcome marketing messages just because they know how to text – it’s a bit of a leap.
I don’t mean to pour cold water on the idea of mobile marketing per se – if you’re a brand, at a time when people are paying less and less attention to TV and print ads, the news that 25% of mobile users will welcome your marketing is good news. But it doesn’t quite deserve the bullishness just yet.
Some other stats to come out of the survey are interesting though: 54% of 13-34 year-olds use SMS for social networking, 44% use it for flirting or dating, and 10% say they’ve broken up with a partner via text message. The big meanies. All the respondents were in the US, but the MMA is conducting a similar survey in Europe, when it’ll be interesting to see any differences.