Recent research appears to support the potential for text message marketing: according to a survey released in January 2012 by the UK Direct Marketing Association (DMA), sponsored by Velti, SMS (33%) is the most popular method of receiving mobile offers among American consumers, ahead of mobile web, including email (21%), mobile application (11%), and voicemail (8%).
Despite these positive signs, text messaging ads appears to suffer from a lack of trust among consumers, according to a February 2012 survey from Nielsen and NM Incite. According to those results, online consumers place the most trust in advertising they find on branded websites (52%) and the least in text message ads on mobile phones (26%).
Texting More Important Than Internet For Smartphone Owners
Data from the Placecast survey indicates that smartphone owners are more likely to say that text messaging is extremely or very important than accessing the internet (67% vs. 60%), with the same holding true for standard cell phone owners (35% vs. 15%). In fact, among smartphone owners, text messaging is important to more users than other activities including accessing local information and activities via an application (32%) and accessing social networks (30%).
According to February 2012 survey results from Prosper Mobile Insights, though, internet access tops the list of functions smartphone users could not live without, cited by 20.8% of respondents, ahead of calling (19.9%) and texting (18.2%).
M-Commerce Increases in Importance
Meanwhile, data from the Placecast report indicates that 47% of mobile phone users believe that it is at least somewhat important for them to be able to make a purchase on their device, marking a 27% rise from 37% who felt that way in the 2010 survey.
Among smartphone and cell phone owners combined, 1 in 5 said they had made a purchase on their device in the past year, with smartphone owners three times more likely than standard cell phone owners to have done so (34% vs. 11%). Other activities performed by a higher proportion of smartphone owners than cell phone owners included accessing the website of a merchant where they typically shop (44% vs. 13%), downloading an application from a merchant where they typically shop (34% vs. 7%), using a barcode scanning app to comparison shop (24% vs. 6%), and purchasing something due to an email from a merchant they have signed up with (20% vs. 6%).
According to May 2012 survey results from Nielsen, the vast majority (79%) of US smartphone and tablet owners have used their devices for shopping-related activities. Among these respondents, smartphone owners are more likely than tablet owners to have used their device for locating a store (73% vs. 42%), using a shopping list while shopping (42% vs. 16%), and redeeming a mobile coupon (36% vs. 11%). By contrast, tablet owners are far more likely to have used their device to purchase an item (42% vs. 16%).
About the Data: The Placecast survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive. Data was collected between February 16 and 24, 2012 among 2,262 adults ages 18 and older, of whom 1,952 own a standard cell phone or smartphone; between May 17 and 19, 2010, of whom 1,710 own a standard cell phone or smartphone; and between July 20 – 22, 2009, of whom 1,729 were identified as cell phone owners.