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Coupons and vouchers will be the dominant mobile marketing channel by 2015, say the networks

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Two thirds of mobile operators believe that coupons and vouchers will become the dominant form of mobile marketing by 2015, with 58% predicting that SMS- and MMS-based messaging would be the second most widely accepted form of mobile advertising in the next five years, followed by search with 45%.

The study, conducted by analyst house mobileSQUARED on behalf of Airwide Solutions, a provider of next-generation mobile messaging infrastructure, applications and solutions, reveals that users in 2015 are thought to be more likely to use mobile marketing or advertising promotions that are sent to them via their mobile phones than those generated through search, display or navigation.

Currently, UK mobile subscribers send more than 11 million SMS messages per hour, totalling an approximate 7.7 billion per month. This shows clear potential for mobile operators to capitalize upon the 15.4 billion engagements between consumers and the SMS medium that are generated each month.

Airwide Solutions Chief Marketing Officer, Jay Seaton, believes that messaging is the ideal platform to unlock the potential of mobile advertising and marketing. “The widespread use of mobile messaging creates a far-reaching and significant marketing opportunity for brands which in turn, creates a significant revenue opportunity for mobile operators,” he says. “By putting a reliable infrastructure in place, and a means of controlling and measuring campaigns, mobile operators can deliver some of the most highly effective mobile marketing initiatives through mobile messaging."

Currently, subscribers have to opt in to mobile advertising. However, as significant mobile marketing and advertising activity is expected in the future, the opt-out option will also become an important component in the 2015 mobile user’s experience. According to the survey, 54% of operators thought that an opt-out service would be more important to them than opt-in in 2015, compared to 39% in 2010.

The majority of operators (53%) also believe that the customer should control and update their user profile in 2015, rather than the operator (7%) or a combination of the operator and user (40%).

Airwide Solutions supports these results and believes that agreed best practice guide lines need to be implemented around the subscriber opt in/out process. “For mobile marketing and advertising to be truly effective, operators need to have customer information that enables targeted and relevant communications. Giving subscribers the choice to opt in or out of campaigns enables them to be user specific and ultimately provide more value,” says Seaton.
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