One Quarter of U.S. Mobile Users Open to Ads: Survey

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

One out of four mobile subscribers in the U.S. and Western Europe says they have either “strong interest” or at least “moderate interest” in being marketed to through their mobile phones.

But that interest is still dwarfed by the response from Asia and Latin America where one-half and two-thirds of cell phone users say they have some interest in getting mobile marketing messages.

Those findings come from the annual “Mobile Attitude and Usage Study” put out by the Mobile marketing Association and research partner Synovate.

It’s the fourth edition of the yearly survey, and the overall interest findings roughly parallel the findings of the 2007 study.

Users polled in five continents reported a willingness to accept the mobile phone as much more than just a voice communication device. In fact, more than half of all consumers polled said their mobile phone is “highly important” to their daily life.

In all regions, “text to win” campaigns and interactive voting via mobile phones are the most common mobile marketing initiatives that users have come in contact with. And in line with their will to take mobile advertising, Asia-pacific and Latin American users reported higher participation in mobile marketing efforts: About one-fifth of all mobile users in both those regions reported having taken part in a mobile marketing campaign of some kind in the previous year.

This year’s MMA usage study, due for official release on Monday Nov. 17, also finds “strong” adoption of non-voice mobile features worldwide, including texting, camera functions, multimedia messaging and the mobile Internet.

“Consumers are becoming more adept at using their mobile devices, opening the door to help them to explore and discover mobile marketing campaigns,” outgoing MMA president Laura Marriott said in a statement.

The MMA findings are underlined by other recent research on U.S. mobile ad recall. Earlier this month an unrelated study by mobile social network platform Limbo and GfK Technology found that four out of 10 Americans with cell phones, or about 104 million users, remembered seeing a mobile ad on their handset between July and September 2008.

For about 60 million of those respondents to the Limbo survey, the ad recalled was a text message. About 312 million said they had seen an ad on the mobile Web accessed over their phones.

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