Marketers looking to convince mobile subscribers to opt in to SMS marketing campaigns should look to target parents, especially those with young children, based on research conducted by Harris Interactive for mobile marketing platform Placecast.
The May 2010 survey found that among US mobile users with children, 33% were at least somewhat interested in receiving mobile alerts from their favorite merchants. Among those without children, just 26% were equally interested. The age of children in the household also had an effect on user interest levels; the presence of children under 6 boosted interest levels most, while those with teenagers in the house acted somewhat more like couples with no kids.
Parents considered several mobile activities at least somewhat important at higher rates than mobile users without children, including searching for retail locations (57% vs. 42%), making purchases (40% vs. 26%) and accessing the internet in general (63% vs. 48%). Parents are even more interested in participating in foursquare and Facebook on the go.
Most of parents’ desire for mobile text alerts points to time-strapped families looking to save money. Grocery coupons and promotions were the most popular text alert among all parents, including among the subgroups with older children and teens. The biggest interest of parents of the youngest kids was in products like movie tickets. The only promotions that appealed more to the child-free were deals for coffee and travel.
The typical early adopter of consumer electronics may be male, but it's families who have the most potential to drive mobile marketing efforts based on opt-in text alerts. While the mobile market will be shifting toward more sophisticated forms of advertising as smartphone penetration increases, with feature phones currently in the hands of 69% of US subscribers, according to Nielsen, SMS campaigns still have the biggest reach.
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