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Pitching Consumer Goods by Mobile in the UK

  • Posted: Sunday, December 07, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Miscellaneous

By Karin von Abrams, Senior Analyst

The mobile advertising scene is changing in Europe, according to a study by comScore M:Metrix. Its August 2008 Benchmark report showed a sharp increase in European mobile ads for goods that previously had little exposure on the mobile channel, such as food, clothing and consumer electronics.

The ads in question used SMS, not a Web-based technology. But the survey showed that in the year to August 2008, food advertising on mobile phones grew 53%, while ads for clothing and fashion rose 38.2% and restaurant ads 37.3%. Overall, advertising for consumer goods and services on SMS was up 15.2%, while advertising for mobile products such as downloads and entertainment fell by 9.6%.

Consumer response rates were also excellent. For example, 15.5% of mobile owners who received an ad for a restaurant in the three months to August 2008 responded, and 12.6% of those who got offers for food, such as grocery coupons, did so.

UK advertisers are well-placed to take advantage of these trends.

Penetration of active mobile phone connections in the population stood at 122.6% at the end of 2007, according to Ofcom’s report, “The Communications Market 2008.” Fully 86% of UK adults ages 16 and over owned a mobile phone in Q1 2008, and access rates were even higher among children ages 12 to 15. In addition, more than 60% of children ages 8 to 11 polled by Ofcom owned or had access to a mobile phone.

The UK also boasts high rates of SMS text messaging. In 2007, the last complete year for which Ofcom measured this activity, SMS use was up 28% on the previous year, and an average of 68 texts were sent each month from every mobile connection in the UK.

Before the financial crisis, industry observers were convinced that the mobile Web, together with mobile online advertising, really was approaching liftoff. Now it seems unlikely that 2009 will see a big breakthrough in mobile. But advertisers can still learn how to engage with mobile subscribers. Those looking for ways to connect with key target audiences during the economic downturn, and drive direct consumer response while keeping a firm grip on marketing budgets, should compare the costs of online and mobile SMS campaigns, or the feasibility of combining more-traditional Internet ads with an SMS dimension. [eMarketer]

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