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Consumers find mobile ads pushing sales or promotions useful: Experian

This holiday season marketers need to carefully tailor the messages sent using mobile because irrelevant, intrusive and unsolicited communications via the medium feel very unwelcome, per Experian.

Experian?s ?The 2010 Holiday Marketer? benchmark and trend report dives deep into mobile marketing best practices during the holidays. The report found that future plans to purchase reveal that the Apple iPhone smartphone is more (14 percent) sought after than Google?s Droid (8 percent) and BlackBerry smartphones (7 percent).

?If you look at the report there is a lot of data but the one that caught my attention was there is an uptick in consumers willing to make purchases from their mobile devices,? said Bill Tancer, general manager of research at Experian, Costa Mesa, CA. ?It is a small uptick but it indicates a larger trend that phones are more significant in mobile shopping.?

State of the industry
Experian found that more consumers with Web-enabled phones say that they make purchases online with their mobile phones as compared to 2009 (13 percent and 10 percent, respectively).

Consumers use their phones to check prices (22 percent), research products (21 percent) and make purchases online (13 percent).

Twenty-four percent of online consumers with or without Web-enabled phones say they expect to be comparing prices and 22 percent expect to be purchasing items from their mobile phones in the next 12 months.

Additionally, consumers today are 38 percent more likely to say they find mobile ads from businesses including sales or promotions useful than in 2009.

More than half of online consumers own a smartphone or another Web-enabled phone, and 3G connectivity has spread a lot since last year.

According to research from PriceGrabber, 64 percent of consumers own a Web-enabled smartphone compatible with a 3G network as compared to 48 percent in 2009.

International insight
Although increasing in usage, marketing campaign execution through mobile devices is still new to many consumers and can be ill-received.

In an Experian CheetahMail-commissioned study, the majority of the 6,000 people across five European countries surveyed said they are generally irritated when they get a marketing message sent to their device.

Dutch consumers were least likely to receive mobile marketing messages, as 29 percent had never received any, compared with 20 percent in Britain and 10 percent in France and Germany.

Only 4 percent of Spanish consumers had never received mobile marketing messages.

Mobile activities
Talking and text aside, the most common mobile activity is taking photos.

In fact, 66 percent of all mobile users and 2 percent of smartphone owners say that they have taken a picture on their phone in the last 30 days.

The second most common activity is accessing the mobile Web, with 36 percent of all mobile users reporting to have done so in the past 30 days. Additionally, 41 percent of smartphone users reported accessing the Internet from their device in the past 30 days.

Smartphone owners are more likely to watch streaming video, download applications, access social networks, shop and listen to music on their device than all other mobile users.

Mobile shopping
Shopping applications have been downloaded by almost one in six users.

Consumers who made purchases from their mobile devices indicate that they buy items such as ringtones and applications (61 percent), consumer electronics (57 percent), books (42 percent), clothing (34 percent) and jewelry (16 percent).

Online shoppers ages 25-34 indicate that they are more likely to purchase online from their Web-enables phones than any other segment.

Nearly half of mobile phone users (44 percent) say that they find messages sent to their mobile phone that include coupons and special offers useful.

In addition, the same share finds that mobile messages coming from businesses that have their permission are useful.

?I think now more than ever if a marketer does not have mobile as part of the marketing plan they need to make it a part of the plan,? Mr. Tancer said. ?Consumers are checking things like prices and such they need to serve up info when people are on the go.

?Marketers need to consider the idea of integrated marketing,? he said. ?The term channel marketing is antiquated.

?Talk to the rest of your channels.?

Final take
Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor of Mobile Marketer