Consumers Unexcited for Mobile Location Ads

Mobile ads targeted to specific tastes and interests are four times more effective than mobile ads that use time, location or lifestyle as benchmarks, according to new research released by Upstream.

According to the research, users of both feature phones and smart phones respond to personalized offers more favorably than any other kind, including location-based offers. The research also revealed consumer preferences about the kinds of advertising that they receive on their mobile devices. In content preferences, feature phone users and smart phone users diverge. Smartphone users most often cited a preference for ads for content for their mobile devices, whereas feature phone users most often cited a preference for ads from their mobile-service provider. But the research demonstrates that users of both categories of handsets are somewhat underwhelmed by location-based marketing.

“Location clearly is an important aspect in mobile marketing, but we were surprised at the dramatic lack of consumer interest in it at this time,” said Assaf Baciu, Upstream’s vice president of product management. “Right now, people want mobile offers that are personalized to their interests ahead of other more hyped criteria such as time or location.”

The data demonstrated that even consumers using feature-rich smartphones are susceptible to low-tech methods of persuasion like text messaging. Ad channel preferences differed slightly from smartphone to feature phone users. Smartphone users most preferred to receive coupons followed closely by an opt-in text alert or message. For feature phone users, the preferences were reversed.

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