Coupons and Messaging Set To Dominate Mobile Marketing

Coupons, vouchers and messaging are set to become the most widely accepted forms of mobile marketing and advertising by 2015. That’s the conclusion of research commissioned by Airwide Solutions into the future of mobile communications.

The study was conducted by analyst house mobileSQUARED, who quizzed 31 mobile operators across East and Western Europe, N. America and Asia-Pac. 61 per cent of those questioned thought that coupons or vouchers would become the dominant form of mobile marketing by 2015. 58 per cent predicted that SMS- and MMS-based messaging would be the second most widely accepted form of mobile advertising in the next five years, followed by search (45 per cent). Owing to the close link between coupons and vouchers and messaging, with messaging acting as a core distribution channel in the majority of cases, it is understandable why both categories attracted a similarly high response from the operators surveyed, says Airwide. 

Currently, UK mobile subscribers send more than 11m text messages every hour, adding up to around 7.7bn each month. Airwide says this shows clear potential for mobile operators to capitalize upon the 15.4 billion engagements between consumers and the SMS medium that are generated each month. 

Airwide chief marketing officer Jay Seaton believes that messaging is the ideal platform to unlock the potential of mobile advertising and marketing. He says: “The widespread use of mobile messaging creates a far-reaching and significant marketing opportunity for brands, which, in turn, creates a significant revenue opportunity for mobile operators. By putting a reliable infrastructure in place, and a means of controlling and measuring campaigns, mobile operators can deliver some of the most highly effective mobile marketing initiatives through mobile messaging.”

Currently, subscribers have to opt in to mobile mesasaging delivered to their phone by brands.  But as significant mobile marketing and advertising activity is expected in the future, the study reveals that the opt-out option will also become an important component in the mobile user’s experience. 54 per cent of operators questioned thought that an opt-out service would be more important to them than opt-in in 2015, compared to 39 per cent today. The majority of operators (53 per cent) also believe that the customer should control and update their user profile in 2015, rather than the operator (7 per cent) or a combination of the operator and user (40 per cent).

Airwide says it supports these results and believes that agreed best practice guidelines need to be implemented around the subscriber opt in/out process. “For mobile marketing and advertising to be truly effective, operators need to have customer information that enables targeted and relevant communications,” says Seaton. “Giving subscribers the choice to opt in or out of campaigns enables them to be user specific and ultimately provide more value.”

Airwide offers a range of solutions that can assist mobile operators in creating sustainable and profitable relationships with subscribers, including the AirGate family of mobile data gateways covering SMS, MMS, WAP Push, USSD and the mobile web; and Campaign Manager, a multi-channel mobile campaign management product that enables operators to easily manage targeted and interactive promotional campaigns; and tbhe Airwide Real-Time Loyalty & Profiling Solution that enables operators to run fully automated, two-way, multichannel customer campaigns in real-time.

You can see the full results of the survey and listen to a Mobile Messaging 2.0 podcast on the subject here.