Real Time Communications Featured Article

Study: Gemalto, Ifop Reveal South African and Nigerian Perceptions of Mobile Marketing

November 12, 2014

Digital security company Gemalto recently announced the results of its latest survey, conducted by Ifop, a French research firm, concerning South African and Nigerian customers’ perceptions about mobile marketing.

Ifop, on behalf of Gemalto, conducted 800 in-person interviews of mobile phone users in South Africa and Nigeria in July 2014. Overall, researchers found that 80 percent of survey respondents felt annoyed when receiving unsolicited messages from businesses. However, the survey also revealed that respondents could be put at ease if they knew brands used industry best practices to improve their engagement with customers. Nadia Gonzalez, vice president of mobile marketing at Gemalto, commented on the widespread use of mobile phones in the countries and the potential for businesses to improve customer experiences by addressing customer privacy.

“In a continent where the mobile phone is the most widespread screen, mobile marketing has tremendous potential for operators and brands to engage better with their audiences,” Gonzalez said. “Mobile operators have key assets for improving end-users’ experience of mobile marketing. Starting with a respect for consumer privacy, their ability to segment campaigns by end-users’ profiles, location and interests puts them in the driving seat in helping brands apply these golden rules.”

The study reveals that, specifically, customers want to be in control of the content they receive. Among the survey respondents, 83 percent said they wanted mobile marketing to be permission-based, and 90 percent said they want the ability to easily identify the identity of advertisement senders. Furthermore, 70 percent of respondents indicated that they had received advertisements not in line with their interests; of course, that group said they want messages to be relevant to them.

Gemalto’s news release defines the type of marketing customers desire as “right person, right message, and right moment.” People want relevant ads that add something of importance to their lives. Businesses, in turn, want to be able to deliver those sorts of ads because they can turn dissatisfied customers into people who are loyal to their brands. This is where real-time communications can come into play.

Businesses can pair mobile advertisements on their websites with services that allow for instant communication between brand representatives and customers. Instead of blindly displaying ads, protocols such as WebRTC can create easily-accessible portals for customers to ask questions and reach brands with a single touch of their mobile screens. Ads can even become an active participant in that exchange by creating links outside of brands’ webpages that can draw customers into live help sessions.

Additionally, businesses may want to consider addressing their customers’ preferences for ads by clearly obtaining their consent for SMS, MMS, push notifications, and other forms of more invasive advertisement techniques. Brands that use their own apps to generate such notifications can provide pathways for customers to opt in or opt out of targeted ads. Such messages may also include links to real-time communications through the Web or invitations to customer service through such apps.

It is altogether possible for brands to address their customers in respectful ways. Gemalto suggests that businesses can turn skeptics into “connected ad lovers” simply by providing customers with the proper controls. Undoubtedly, some customers will choose to opt out, but the number of people who opt in could more than make up for any losses with their brand loyalty as generated from the common goal of personal respect.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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