Mobile marketing poised for growth across Europe

15 Jan 2008

Some 15pc of all European consumers have had some experience with mobile marketing and more than half use text messaging weekly, a new pan-European survey has found.

An inaugural survey of mobile attitudes carried out by market research firm Synovate on behalf of the Mobile Marketing Association found that 18-34 year-olds have the highest rate of prior participation in mobile marketing efforts.

One in ten mobile users in Western Europe are highly interested in the mobile market, while three in ten are moderately interested.

Italian and Spanish consumers are the most interested in mobile marketing, with over half at least moderately interested in opting in.

Two-way text messaging, the Mobile Marketing Association says, is the most important mobile feature across all age groups in Western Europe, except for teens who put SMS second only to camera functionality on their phones.

Across the Western European markets surveyed, seven in ten have experience with text messaging, with the most text-savvy consumers in Italy and Spain. Over half of all users surveyed use SMS at least weekly and 37% are daily users. Daily use is most common among 13-24 year-olds.

Western European consumers are poised for an increase in mobile marketing. Some 15pc of all consumers surveyed have had some experience with mobile marketing. Mobile phones are almost universal and most phones are equipped to receive mobile messages.

Interactive voting, receiving ads and product/service information are the most common applications of mobile marketing. The survey found that 18-34 year-olds have the highest rate of participation in mobile marketing efforts. However, age is not strongly predictive as interest levels are similar across ages 13-54.

Across all regions surveyed, mobile coupons, status alerts about accounts/purchases and special sales have the greatest appeal. Over half the users have increased data usage to some extent in the past year with slightly under half reporting an increase in voice usage.

“This study confirms mobile users in Western Europe already appreciate mobile marketing and have a desire to opt-in to receive relevant product and services,” said Richard Saggers, Mobile Marketing Association EMEA chairman and head of mobile advertising, Vodafone Global Services.

“These results indicate Italy and Spain are significantly advanced users of mobile, and already have the most experience with mobile marketing and are therefore more likely to participate.”

Saggers said at least 60pc in all age categories surveyed have experience with text messaging, indicating a big opportunity for marketers.

“Western Europe represents a significant opportunity for mobile marketers,” agreed Laura Marriott, president of the Mobile Marketing Association. “One in three consumers surveyed indicated that their mobile phone is highly important to them and they are very dependent on it.

“With consumers acknowledging their mobile is always on them, brands need to begin integrating mobile into their marketing campaigns ASAP. Clearly, mobile is proving its potential value as a marketing tool,” Marriott added.

By John Kennedy