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Consumers Don't Want Mobile Advertising

Following up on yesterday’s post about mobile marketing, I came across this piece in eMarketer, "Mobile Users Easy to Annoy".
Seems like those of us who want to do mobile advertising might be out of luck …

Nearly two-thirds of respondents to a Maritz Research survey of Generation Y consumers said they were unlikely or definitely unlikely to subscribe to texted retail offers sent to their handsets.


The WebVisible-Nielsen survey was even gloomier, with 92% of respondents saying that local business ads sent to their mobile phones would irritate them.
Similarly, four-fifths of mobile users in an Ingenio-sponsored survey conducted by Harris Interactive said that text messages sent by companies would be totally unacceptable.


This speaks to the need for marketers to tread lightly, smartly and in concert with the expectations of the customers.  If you’re planning on mobile, why not start a consumer advocacy panel or other customer-centric initiative to see how you and your product can support your customer’s lifestyle rather than impinging upon it?
If you are already doing mobile marketing, what kind of feedback have you received?


  1. Phil Barrett
    Phil Barrett October 18, 2007

    Over the last the two days we heard from John Hardl who leads mobile for P&G in the U.S. at Marketing Magazine’s mobile breakfast in Toronto & Montreal
    John showed us several case studies from the U.S. that incorporated mobile advertising and showed us that the ROI and unique visitor count on Mobile often exceeded that of traditional online advertising.
    People may say they don’t like it…but it has been a highly effective teactic for P&G.
    There’s not a lot of inventory to buy in Canada yet…but you can bet the platforms are coming soon

  2. miro slodki
    miro slodki October 19, 2007

    this mirrors other studies I have seen where basically mobile users view their phones – well as their’s
    so the point you make about treading carefully needs to be underscored, bolded and put in 46 point font.
    As with any communication/advertising the reason for the communication must be of value to the recipient otherwise it is spam.
    We are all extatic whe reposne rates for our programs get beyond the 10% mark – but fail to consider that even at those high water marks we have have sent a communication to 90% that found it irrelevant and perhaps annoying.
    The tools and sophistication re proximity advertising, behavioral targetting etc are upon us – but we must stand back and consider what we do from our customer’s viewpoint first before engaging the latest toy.
    Some of these tools will help deliver more relevancy (content, timeliness) to the dialogue, but that does not release us from the core responsability of being the customer champion within the organization we work for.
    As I have said elsewhere (rule #7), PULL is more powerful than PUSH.

  3. Jonathan Dunn
    Jonathan Dunn October 19, 2007

    I completely agree that marketers need to be careful about what they send and when. There are too many ‘joke of day’ people doing the industry a disservice with ‘subscription’ services that are hard to opt out of and burn consumers with hidden or high recurring costs.
    It looks like this study neglects to consider that good mobile marketing, like other good marketing, is fundamentally permission based. The consumer has to take the first action – text in, go to a WAP site, initiate a mobile search, etc…
    There’s a big difference between “from a company” and “from a company in response to an action I took”. I’m not convinced that this survey really takes that into account.

  4. Hi there!
    While I have never done any mobile marketing, I have experienced being the recipient of that marketing. I find them to be annoying and useless. My mobile phone is something I consider to be a personal item. When I receive a message, I would want it to be from a friend or a a family member and not from a company that is trying to offer me a certain product.

  5. gary
    gary October 23, 2007

    Interesting commentary for sure. Having been around in the early days of online advertising – many of these same sentiments were expressed regarding intrusion etc.
    Mobile advertising will work if it is developed with the device and its use in mind. Location based targeted advertising is just too attractive for marketers to ignore and consumers will accept advertising in exchange for services such as tools and or free usage etc.
    it cant be the same as online advertising, but online is not the same as offline either. So yes it must respect the intrinsic nature of the channel in order to be effective and embraced
    It seems to me that if advertising can work on social networks such as myspace and facebook then surely it has a very good chance on mobile devices.

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