Upstream Research Reveals Appetite for Carrier Deals

Consumers in the UK and the US prefer operator-driven deals to those from third parties, according to the results of research carried out by YouGov, and commissioned by global mobile marketing technology and solutions provider, Upstream.

The research, which polled more than 2,000 American adults, reveals that 70 per cent of smartphone owners are interested in being notified directly by their carrier with suggestions for handset upgrades, discounts and special offers, and other personalised services. The results correspond with Upstream research that polled a similar number of UK consumers, which found that 59 per cent would like to be contacted by their operator with these offers.

Both UK and N. American consumers were also found to place more trust in carriers than specialist deal sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial. 29 per cent of US mobile users are prepared to put their trust in purchasing deals from their mobile service provider, compared to only 11 per cent in high-profile daily deal sites.

The UK research revealed a similar trend, where more than half (52 per cent) of consumers trust their mobile phone company when redeeming deals via SMS, compared to just eight per cent who would trust promotions from a third-party.

“Given the consumer trust and openness to receiving mobile offers, there is a clear opportunity for carriers to market their services to their customers to build better customer engagement and drive higher average revenue per user,” says Upstream CEO, Alex Vratskides. “But mobile marketers need to tread a fine line. Based on our experience with hundreds of brands and carriers all over the world, the opportunity to market over mobile must be carefully managed and limited to a number of personalised interactions per month, otherwise consumers will quickly opt-out or churn.”

The survey results also showed that American consumers are prepared to receive more marketing messages than those in the UK. 74 per cent of mobile phone users in N. America prefer two or less messages from their operator each month, whereas Upstream’s UK findings revealed that only 14 per cent of consumers are prepared to receive the same number.

“We have generated more than $500m in incremental revenue for our customers over mobile by respecting consumers’ view of their mobile as a highly personal device and contacting them with the appropriate number of relevant, personalised messages,” adds Vratskides. “This new data highlights how sensitive consumers are to mobile marketing ‘overkill’ on both sides of the pond, and the need for brands and carriers to make every single consumer interaction over mobile count.”

Upstream campaigns are run on its proprietary Marketing Communications Suite (MCS), a mobile marketing technology platform that offers real-time, optimised communications; game mechanics and game dynamics; contextualisation and personalisation; and insights and analytics.