Premium SMSWe\’re all used to ringtones and other \”fun\” – but entirely disposable – products that make up a bulk of today\’s mobile marketing efforts. However, mobile consumers want products and services distributed over cellular networks to be practical, according to a new survey. dotMobi and AKQA questioned consumers in both the United States and the United Kingdom. They found that there was a \”strong\” desire for practical mobile content.

How strong? How practical? Consider:

  • Nearly 90 percent of respondents stated they would be more likely to choose an airline that offered mobile check-in facilities over one that did not.
  • Almost two-thirds of participants stated they would consider purchasing theater tickets, take-out food, and travel tickets via a mobile phone.
  • 86 percent of participants said they were interested in knowing which sites are easily accessible on a mobile phone.
  • In short, the survey shows consumers on both sides of the pond want to be able to use mobile for all their communicating and digital commerce needs. Marketers should consider – if they haven\’t already – ways in which they can keep in contact with customers via mobile. For example, SMS coupons reach consumers wherever, whenever; ideal for urging spur-of-the-moment purchase decisions, coupons keep customers up-to-date brand news as well. Meanwhile allowing purchases, check-ins, and the like will make consumers\’ interaction with a brand more convenient for them, increasingly the likelihood of repeat business.

    However, the survey also revealed that:

  • Fifty percent of respondents were unaware that there are mobile sites optimized for use on mobile phone.
  • Nearly 50 percent of respondents said that a poor experience on their initial use of a mobile Web made them \”reluctant to access\” that site on their mobile phones again.
  • These findings prove two things. First, mobile marketers must do their part in educating the masses about the technology as well as about what content is already out there – perhaps by using multi-channel marketing campaigns that advertise mobile via print, email, or other media.

    Second, the fact that mobile Internet is still dodgy in consumers\’ minds makes SMS marketing the top way to reach them. SMS is easily accessed on all modern handsets, unlike the Web, which is mostly limited to so-called smart phones. Meanwhile carriers have rolled out popular text- and multimedia-messaging packages, making the worry about \”using up SMS credits\” somewhat less important (as long as a marketer gets permission before sending messages, of course). SMS will remain the most important way for marketers to reach the majority of consumers on their cells, as I said earlier in this post and this post.

    So marketers, get ready to step up your usage of mobile commerce, SMS messaging, and a combination of the two.

    Eydie Cubarrubia
    Marketing Communications Manager, mobileStorm
    “I’d rather you text me”