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Mobile Marketers: Are You a Vampire or a Servant?



Marketing research is a lot like mobile marketing. You have to get the potential user’s attention, use clever content to keep him engaged and then hope he likes what you presented enough to act on it. Or you could use bribery – as this study will show, that works, too.

The pitch that caught my eye today was the Millward Brown / SessionM study called “Exploring the Role of Value in Mobile Advertising.” I decided to cover the story because of this graphic:

time sucker

Any company that uses a vampire bat to make their point is full of win. In this case, they asked mobile users to express how they feel about mobile advertising. Many people feel that its nothing but a time suck. On the other hand, they’re okay with ads as long as the content makes them happier, enriches their life or introduces them to a product that will do either of the aforementioned.

If they can’t have that, they want a reward.

  • Rewarded audiences are over twice as likely to interact with brands. After seeing an in-app ad, 34 percent of rewarded users clicked or interacted with an ad, compared with only 15 percent of mobile users who had not participated in reward-based advertising.
  • Receiving a reward expands a consumer’s consideration set. After seeing an in-app ad, 26 percent of rewarded users considered purchasing a brand, compared with 18 percent of mobile users who had not participated in reward-based advertising.
  • Not all reward-based advertising is created equal. When using a reward-based advertising strategy, there are some things to keep in mind. Ninety-two percent of mobile users report it’s important they choose the reward they receive, and 68 percent of users prefer to know for certain they will get a reward, rather than be surprised. Users also prefer rewards that are tangible and have an element of choice in how they’re spent.

Wow. They not only want it free, they want a choice! These mobile users are hard to please.

Oh, and don’t even think about asking for their email address in return for the freebie; survey respondents said that was like the old bait and switch.

You may not like the idea of bribing customers to interact with your ads, but you may not have a choice. Attitudes toward mobile in general are improving but it’s still way down on the chart (this chart):

ad reaction

Opt-in emails remain king of the mountain with ad reaction actually improving since last year. Mobile and Non-Opt-In Emails are the only other categories that showed improvement but Mobile still comes in only at 9% on the favorable scale.

The bottom line of this lengthy, but informative report is this: consumers know there is potential value in mobile advertising but right now, they’re not seeing it. Ads are disruptive, deceptive and they’re more often than not, a waste of time. It’s now up to marketers to change that impression by paying more attention to the kind of ads we put on mobile and how they’re delivered. A well-timed, properly targeted ad is all that separates a happy future customer from a bad brand experience.