Text and The City

I often toss and turn at night wide-awake contemplating when I will next get my hands on more quantitative research in the area of mobile marketing. Occasionally I bustle about in my own mental mobile marketing meanderings like Sarah Jessica Parker considering her romantic dilemmas on HBO’s Sex and The City.

And if you think I’m kidding, just ask my wife.

Needless to say, you can always expect a fair share of feedback from me when a company delves into the juicy results of their research in this realm – whether it’s massaged for their benefit or not. Either way, there’s always something to be learned.

According to Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the results of its first-ever “quantitative research effort in mobile marketing” are in. And as it turns out, the survey illustrated that text messaging is “by far the most often cited mobile marketing method-accounting for 70 percent of consumer mobile marketing responses-compared to a 41 percent response rate to surveys and a 30 percent response rate for email offers.”

The online survey conducted earlier this spring retrieved data from 800 mobile phone owners. 157 surveys were completed by respondents aged 15-20, and the remaining 643 surveys were completed by respondents aged 21 and older.

As far as I can tell, this information is important for both consumers and small mobile advertisers. Text message mobile campaigns, as it turns out, are not only incredibly popular and effective, they are also among the cheapest and easiest forms of mobile marketing campaigns to create.

Best of all, the mobile marketing or direct marketing community will particularly find this information constructive as advertisers continue seeking ways to offer more pertinent and functional information to mobile consumers away from their desktops. If nothing more, the results continue to imply that mobile marketing will evolve into a multi-billion dollar industry that will overcome (through both simplicity and sophistication) the present barriers born of mobile phone users wary of purchasing data plans or broadband enabled devices.

In total, the survey revealed:

  • 24 percent of those surveyed have responded to a mobile offer;
  • One-third of the group that did not respond to any mobile marketing reported that they had never received an offer;
  • 71 percent of people who respond to mobile offers have data plans with lack of interest and cost of airtime cited as the leading reasons by those who haven’t responded to mobile offers;
  • 21 percent of mobile marketing responders indicated that they responded to three or more offers per month;
  • Respondents that used AT&T (Cingular) Wireless and T-Mobile were more interested in mobile marketing incentives than respondents who used Verizon Wireless;
  • Teens 15-17 (19%) and young adults 21-30 years old (19%) are twice as likely to respond to offers on their mobile devices as individuals 18-20 (7%);
  • Never married respondents were the most likely of all groups to respond to mobile marketing appeals;
  • Overall, higher-income respondents making more than $60,000 per year were more likely to respond to mobile offers;
  • Responders to mobile marketing were typically more tech-savvy-for example, responders were twice as likely than non-responders to subscribe to internet-based music subscription services.