According to a recent study into the future of mobile communications, 61% of mobile operators surveyed thought that coupons or vouchers would become the dominant form of mobile marketing by 2015.
Furthermore, 58% of those surveyed predicted that SMS- and MMS-based messaging would be the second most widely accepted form of mobile advertising in the next five years, followed by search with 45%. Owing to the close link between coupons and vouchers and messaging, with messaging acting as a core distribution channel in the majority of cases, it is understandable why both categories attracted a similarly high response from the operators surveyed.
The study was conducted by analyst house mobileSQUARED on behalf of Airwide Solutions, the leading provider of next-generation mobile messaging infrastructure, applications and solutions. The research reveals that users in 2015 are thought to be more likely to utilize mobile marketing or advertising promotions that are sent to them via their mobile phones than those generated through search, display or navigation.
Currently, UK mobile subscribers send more than 11 million SMS messages per hour, totalling an approximate 7.7 billion per month. This shows clear potential for mobile operators to capitalize upon the 15.4 billion engagements between consumers and the SMS medium that are generated each month.
Airwide Solutions Chief Marketing Officer, Jay Seaton, believes that messaging is the ideal platform to unlock the potential of mobile advertising and marketing. He stated, “The widespread use of mobile messaging creates a far-reaching and significant marketing opportunity for brands which in turn, creates a significant revenue opportunity for mobile operators. By putting a reliable infrastructure in place, and a means of controlling and measuring campaigns, mobile operators can deliver some of the most highly effective mobile marketing initiatives through mobile messaging."
Should subscribers opt in or opt out in the future?
Currently, subscribers have to opt in to mobile advertising. However, as significant mobile marketing and advertising activity is expected in the future, the opt-out option will also become an important component in the 2015 mobile user’s experience. According to the survey, 54% of operators thought that an opt-out service would be more important to them than opt-in in 2015, compared to 39% in 2010.
The majority of operators (53%) also believe that the customer should control and update their user profile in 2015, rather than the operator (7%) or a combination of the operator and user (40%).
Airwide Solutions supports these results and believes that agreed best practice guide lines need to be implemented around the subscriber opt in/out process. “For mobile marketing and advertising to be truly effective, operators need to have customer information that enables targeted and relevant communications. Giving subscribers the choice to opt in or out of campaigns enables them to be user specific and ultimately provide more value," Seaton continued.
Airwide offers a range of solutions that can assist mobile operators in creating sustainable and profitable relationships with subscribers. The company’s highly flexible AirGate family of mobile data gateways lets operators unlock that potential across a wide array of mobile data channels – SMS, MMS, WAP Push, USSD, and the mobile web. In addition, Airwide Solutions’ Campaign Manager is a powerful multi-channel mobile campaign management product that enables operators to easily manage highly targeted and interactive promotional campaigns, while the Airwide Real-Time Loyalty & Profiling Solution empowers operators to run fully automated, two-way, multichannel customer campaigns in real-time – a capability that is fundamental to postpaid and especially prepaid revenue growth.
To read the full results of the survey or listen to an exclusive Mobile Messaging 2.0 podcast on the topic, please visit http://www.airwidesolutions.com/resources.html.