The Future of Mobile

Targeting is Key, Discounts Even Better

David Murphy

Research just published by youth research specialist Q Research into what Britains young people think about receiving ads on their mobiles reveals that targeting messages to the individual recipient is key to success with this audience.
1500 Q panellists aged 11 to 20 were questioned for the survey in January 2007. The main objective of the research was to understand the attitudes and opinions young people in Britain have to receiving advertising messages on their mobile phones via SMS and MMS.
Only 32% of the 11-20 year olds surveyed for the report, Mobiles and Advertising, said they would be happy to receive advertising messages to their mobile phones. But these numbers more than doubled when they were asked if they would like to receive advertising messages targeted to their particular interests. 71% agreed with this concept. 76% said they would be happy to receive ads on their mobile in exchange for discounts or special offers, while 82% said they would be happy to receive ads in exchange for top-up credit.
When asked about the types of ads they would like to receive on their mobiles, picture-based advertising messages were the most popular choice, with 70% opting for these as their preferred choice. Video ads were next with 53%, with text coming in last on 45%. The main reason for the preference for picture- rather than video-based ads, was concern about the price of receiving these files. Only boys under 16 chose video ads, with almost three-quarters saying they would like to receive them.
This survey questioned respondents on a number of mobile advertising related topics, including preferred frequency for receiving ad messages, location-based advertising and benefits for receiving them says Dr Liz Nelson, Executive Chairman of Q Research. The responses show us that 11-20 year olds have strong feelings about the way advertisers should communicate with them via mobile phone, and that these are impacted by the respondents gender, age, mobile phone network and ethnicity. And as one of the UKs leading high street banks announces this week it is using location-based advertising to its customers mobiles, this research is very timely for advertisers.
Julian Smith, Insight & Research Director at media agency MEC Interaction EMEA, says the research is very welcome.
It provides useful insight into the elusive youth audience he says. These users have an intimate relationship with the mobile phone, so push advertising messages need to be tightly targeted -  more so than with any other channel - and its vital to stick to the rules of right person, right place, right time, right offer.