Posted October 11, 2007 5:42 pm by with 3 comments

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CNET’s Elinor Mills reports on a Nielsen//NetRatings and WebVisible study today that indicates that a whopping 92% felt that receiving local business ads on their cell phones would be “irritating.” This doesn’t bode well for mobile marketers, many of whom are hoping to bank on the hyper local third screen.

Other key (non-mobile-related) findings:

  • 56% “only get ads they want or need” from the Internet; television, 53%.
  • 80% researched a product online and bought it at a brick-and-mortar.
  • 74% use search engines to find local businesses in retail and services (versus paper yellow pages, 65%; Internet yellow pages, 50%; newspapers, 44%; white pages, 33%; TV, 29%; and consumer review sites, 18%).

My favorite findings, however, were that almost 75% of the 2000 people surveyed felt they are overexposed to advertising already. And participants agreed that having ads sent to them is only slightly more preferable than using search engines to find businesses.

Um, what? The vast majority of people think we’re overexposed to ads, but the same people still prefer advertising to finding businesses and products themselves? Are we going to be eating our cake and having it, too, now?

  • The answer isn’t using mobile devices to serve ads. That would just be more of the same old irritating interruptions that consumers have to put up with.

    I think there is more of a future in mobile web. As devices become better at handling the internet on the go and more and more users start utilizing this capability, marketing on the web will happen on computers and on phones as well. It will be the same thing. We have already started to see this a little. Mobile web needs more standards before it can really succeed.

    Another thing to think about is permission marketing on cellphones. The concept would be the same as permission based email, such as e-newsletters. When they aren’t SPAM they are very effective.

  • Jordan that last bit is pretty funny. Maybe funny isn’t the right word, but it’s something. I guess the message is there are too many ads, but please keep sending them because we really like them?

    I’ve been wondering since first hearing about this survey if people are saying they’d be irritated with ads on mobile devices, because they aren’t getting them at the moment. I wonder if after a time the ads are being delivered if the same people get used to them and that 92% comes way down.

    I admit I think ads on my cellphone would be irritating, but I’m picturing ads popping up while I’m trying to do something else. That might not be how it all plays out and once they are there they may turn out to be less irritating than what I and 92% are imagining.

  • It’s not so much that ads on mobile devices are annoying but it takes so much effort to ignore. You virtually have to manually delete it. Would be much better if mobile devices automatically expire ads when you move out of range, or after a minute or two.