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80pc willing to exchange location data for relevant brand messages: report

A new survey released today by mBlox and Millward Brown found that 80 percent of mobile users would share location data with brands in order to receive SMS or push messages.

The report based on the survey?s findings, "Engagement: What Consumers Really Think," reveals that while mobile users are open to receiving brand messaging, most said they would prefer to communicate with known or favorite brands. Respondents also indicated a preference for relevant communications.

?This study provides a proof point that mobile has the opportunity to enable marketers to better engage people on a global scale,? said Stacy Adams, vice president of marketing at mBlox, Sunnyvale, CA.

?To date, mobile has been a difficult entry point for marketers, because, as an industry, we took what didn?t work on the Web and moved it to mobile environments, such as standard Web-based banner ads that send users outside the app or mobile Web site and pre-roll video ads that force people to watch them, disrupting their user experience,? she said.

?Plus, when mobile applications were gaining traction, marketers put a great deal of time and budget into them without realizing how difficult it would be to keep the user engaged through them. But we expect that number to move in a more positive direction as marketers embrace push notifications, in-app messaging and SMS as ways to re-engage those who have downloaded mobile apps.?

Privacy concerns
Key findings from the report include that 59 percent of global respondents prefer SMS and push campaigns over other forms of mobile marketing, including video advertising, banner or standard display ads and email.

When asked why they would share location data with a company, 47 percent would do so to receive relevant offers or discount coupons; 45 percent would do so to receive information they have requested; 36 percent would do so to help them solve customer service issues and 24 percent would do so to check-in or post on social networking sites.

?Marketers are so nervous about privacy concerns that they are reluctantly shying away from mobile marketing,? Ms. Adams said. ?The survey findings reveal that they don?t have to be.

?According to Millward Brown Digital, 80 percent of global respondents, an overwhelming majority, would share location data with a company from whom they?ve downloaded an app in order to receive SMS or push messages.?

Underused tactic
The report also makes the point that while SMS messages are an effective mobile engagement tactic, many marketers are still underusing it, with only one in five marketers reportedly having sent an SMS message last year.

In contrast, 58 percent of global respondents say they would send a text message to a company to request more information and 54 percent would send a text to a company to enter a competition.

Mobile adoption continues to grow, with text messaging one of users? favorite activities.

As mobile commerce also gains steam, marketers need to recognize that SMS provides a large global reach and can effectively be used to encourage purchases, per the report.

Another key finding is that 57 percent of global respondents and 60 percent of U.S. respondents find SMS and push messages more likely to persuade them to make a purchase than other forms of marketing on a mobile device, including advertising commercials or video advertising, banner or standard display advertising and email marketing messages.

Global reach
Additional key findings include that 68 percent of global respondents and 66 percent of U.S. respondents find SMS or push messages sent to them from a company to be valuable and 75 percent of global respondents and 75 percent of U.S. respondents are likely to read or engage with SMS and push marketing messages, such as location-triggered coupons, updates or deals relevant to the mobile apps downloaded.

The survey, which was conducted in July, includes responses from 1,572 mobile users who had downloaded an app in the past 12 month across the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

?SMS gives marketers access to a large global reach, and SMS and push marketing also better engages people in a way that is consistent with their preferences, adds value and persuades purchase intent more than other tactics," Ms. Adams said.  

?Marketers not engaging people around the world via SMS and push mobile marketing messages are missing a huge opportunity,? she said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York