I meant to post about this last week, but got caught up with travel and business and just didn’t get a chance. But it doesn’t seem to have been too widely covered in the blogging community, so better late than not at all.
M:Metrics, the analysts who produce hard, factual and thus, useful data released their findings about one important aspect of mobile marketing¬†- sms pull and push campaigns across 5 key markets (UK, US,¬†Germany, Spain and France). In other words, they were measuring how many people responded¬†by sending an sms to a short code in response to an advertisement in the media, broken down across TV, Radio, Magazines, Newspapers and an “unknown” category. And then separately looked at how many received sms based ads that hadn’t been immediately requested.
The most responsive market, by some way, was Spain, with a massive 29.1% of the survey having responded at least once in the previous month . The vast majority of these (75%)¬†were to TV campaigns. Other markets total responses were UK at 18.5 percent, France at 10.1 percent, the United States at 7 percent and Germany at a lowly 3.4 percent. In all cases, TV proved to be the dominant media, which isn’t that surprising as the mobile is an excellent “Remote Control” Direct Response tool.
I’m a little disappointed that outdoor advertising didn’t do better, being lumped in the “other” category and a tiny fraction of the whole. It seems to me that when you’re out and about, that the mobile makes a great way of requesting more information by sms, even if it’s just to get an email sent to bookmark it for later. I wonder if this is because advertisers aren’t using short codes in this context (my bet) or that consumers aren’t responding when they are used?
M:Metrics then looked at the reason why the short code was sent – in¬† response to a contest/competition, offering a download, Entertainment or News. In most markets, responses to contests was the dominant call-to-action, with the US being the exception where downloads marginally won the day.
However, Downloads was the second highest category in the other markets, which I found really unexpected, as getting people to download applications to their mobiles is generally pretty hard to do. It would be interesting to see what percentage of these leads converted to actual downloads, as our experience is that drop off can be as high as 75%.
The numbers for those who received a push-based SMS ad are even greater. In Spain, an incredible 66.8 percent of mobile subscribers reported receiving one, with France following at 50.1 percent, then the UK at 36.8 percent, Germany at 29.6 percent and the United States at 12.8 percent.¬†
However, the¬†largest source of the ads by a wide margin¬†was mobile operators themselves and therefore it’s hard to draw too many conclusions from this part of the report. What would have been great is to differentiate between operator campaigns and the rest, but that would also have been hard to do with any accuracy, using a panel approach. It would also have been fascinating to see how many people considered these to be unsolicited or opt in campaigns.
Having said that, this is easily the most comprehensive snap shot on this aspect of mobile marketing and I hope we can see more along the same lines from M:Metrics in the future.
If I had to have a bash at extrapolating a key trend from this, I’d suggest that the push channel will start to implode during the next 2 years (with the exception of operators’ own messages) as it’s both expensive and too intrusive for most¬†users’ tastes. The perception of spam can vary by when¬†a message is¬†received, as much as what is received and if prior permission exists. The combination of these factors means that this form of marketing simply risks pissing your customers off – and that’s never a canny thing to do.