Because mobile is such an ever-evolving animal, consumer perception and use is constantly changing. That’s why we at Vibes regularly conduct surveys and research to understand mobile consumer trends. Recently, we held a webinar called 2018 Mobile Consumer Trends in partnership with Forrester. Thomas Husson, VP and Principal Analyst joined up with Dave Panek, VP of Product Marketing here at Vibes, to look at how consumers are currently responding mobile marketing.
What’s In It for Me? Why Consumers Subscribe to Mobile Messages
While reasons for subscribing to mobile messages varied from 61% of people doing so to get incentives or coupons to 22% wanting exclusive content, one thing is clear: consumers only subscribe when they think there’s value or benefit in doing so.
Loyalty programs factored in largely to consumers’ desire to hear from brands; 55% of people subscribe to mobile messages to get updates on their rewards points. Others (42%) want informational or product updates, while 26% want store news and events.
Interestingly, men and women want different types of content. Men are looking for updates from travel-related brands as well as media or entertainment companies while women are big on subscribing for retail or restaurant marketing messages.
It Is Possible to Have Too Much of a Good Thing
One thing that will stop a brand’s mobile marketing campaign in its tracks is a high unsubscribe rate. For 57% of survey respondents, getting too many messages is reason enough to unsubscribe.
But how much is too much? Thirty-two percent of people say that more than two messages daily is too many, while 27% said one message a day is overkill. So pay close attention to unsubscribes and test out different frequencies to find your sweet spot.
There’s Significant Opportunity to Leverage Mobile Marketing
Despite the fact that mobile marketing is proving its value in engaging audiences, adoption of mobile messaging as a way to automate mobile moments is still low. Only 9% of brands use rich push notifications to reach their audience, and 15% use messaging on third-party platforms.
Even text message marketing has relatively low adoption at 48%, though an additional 14% are piloting mobile marketing campaigns, and 13% plan to test or use this year. The good news is: because barriers to entry are low and adoption not oversaturated, your brand can really shine using mobile marketing.
Third-Party Messaging as a Marketing Tool is Big Elsewhere
We haven’t yet seen the wave of brands leveraging third-party messaging apps to market to their audience that has hit Europe and Asia. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Snapchat are the top messaging tools that Europeans use. In Asia, platforms like WeChat, Line, and Talk have evolved beyond just messaging apps to be multifunctional engagement platforms and marketing opportunities.
In the U.S., we’ve still got room to grow. Facebook Messenger has the highest brand engagement with consumers, followed by Instagram and Snapchat, but brands still haven’t fully learned to leverage these platforms.
Chatbots: Coming to a Phone Near You
Another up-and-coming technology that consumers are interested in is chatbots.While only 29% of consumers have interacted with one, 50% would be comfortable doing so, particularly Millennials and GenXers.
Survey takers say chatbots provide a faster way to get information, make it easy to find information, and feel like a natural way to interact with a brand.
Currently, just 12% of brands are using chatbots on their website, though more than double that plan to use them in the next year. Some common causes of failure with chatbots that brands should be aware of include:
Complexity of use case
Disconnected from other systems
Confusing or inappropriate user experience
No clear human escalation rules
Mobile Wallet Adoption is Skyrocketing. Don’t Be Left Behind
Our survey showed that 87% of consumers are likely to save personalized mobile wallet content, up from 66% last year. As more brands are educating consumers about the benefit of using mobile wallet for special offers, as well as to store loyalty program information, adoption is on the rise.
Among survey respondents, 30% said they would try mobile wallet if they knew they would get better promotions or offers, and 27% said it would make their life easier by organizing offers, loyalty cards, airline boarding passes, et cetera.
Consumers are concerned, however, about security with mobile wallet (59%), and 17% don’t know where mobile wallets are accepted. Others don’t know how to access mobile wallets or even what they are. For brands, an educational marketing campaign can go a long way to teaching subscribers how to use mobile wallet, save offers, and link loyalty programs.
It’s always interesting to see how consumers’ perceptions are changing when it comes to mobile marketing. Every year brings new insights and more opportunities for brands like yours to leverage.