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Mobile Apps Great Tool for Promoting Products/Services
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 6:55 AM

A new poll conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive shows that mobile phone owners are more interested now than in previous years in receiving offers from brands on their mobile phones—provided they have given explicit permission to the company.

The poll revealed a 19-point increase in interest in receiving local mobile alerts from 2009 to 2013. This research comes from the latest survey in Placecast’s “Alert Shopper” series, one of the longest running research series looking at consumer behavior and mobile marketing.

What does this mean for credit unions? According Rick Grady, vice president of research for the Cornerstone Credit Union League, if they have a mobile app and their member has given them permission to push information to them, the credit union could send information regarding new or used car loans, home equity loans, mortgages, insurance, etc. If the credit union’s app was “smart enough,” the app would “know” if the member was at or near a car dealer and push to auto loan ad to them.

Interest in mobile alerts has increased significantly between 2009 (the year of the first survey) and May of this year. Participants in every wave of the survey were asked this question:

“Assuming you gave permission, how interested would you be in receiving mobile alerts about new products, sales and/or promotions from your favorite merchants, restaurants, or stores on your cell phone/smartphone?”

Nearly half (45 percent) of 2013 mobile phone owners reported that they were at least somewhat interested in receiving mobile alerts from brands, compared to 26 percent of those surveyed in 2009. This 19-point increase suggests that mobilized consumers are increasingly aware of how easy it is to use mobile phones to save money and time, and have come to value offers that incorporate their location.

According to the study, the majority of U.S. smartphone owners, four out of five (86 percent), say that it is at least somewhat important to them to be able to access local information and/or activities using an app. The importance of local offers was also highlighted when participants were asked about the effect that a mobile alert for a nearby offer would have on them. Nearly four out of five (78 percent) of those who find location based alerts at least somewhat useful said a local mobile offer would be more relevant than other more traditional coupons. The survey also revealed:

  • 89 percent said these offers should be easy to act on
  • 87 percent also said they could become aware of a retail location they had not known before
  • 83 percent said they might encourage them to try new things
  • 73 percent said they might encourage them to make spontaneous purchases since they’re near the store

Given this increased consumer interest in mobile ads, particularly location-based ads, brands have an unparalleled opportunity to use mobile to reach consumers while in the mindset to make a purchase. eMarketer has reported that retail spend in the digital ad space will increase by 42 percent (from $9.35 B to $13.31B) over the next year. Mobile marketing is key to this growth, and companies across all verticals (restaurants, retail, travel, finance, etc.) are stepping up their mobile presence.

The key is for the ads to be perceived as a valuable service by their users, not unwanted or intrusive.

Text messaging, searching for nearby retail locations and accessing local information all ranked higher in terms of mobile functionality than accessing social networks. With almost a third of Facebook’s advertising revenue now coming from mobile marketing, there is a significant opportunity to capitalize on interest in spend from retailers and brands that can drive traffic into real-world stores.