Although 79 percent of consumers find the idea of mobile ads annoying, early efforts at mobile marketing have revealed that consumers will happily engage in campaigns as long as marketers deliver valuable information or content. According to a new report released by Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR), a growing number of consumers are shifting from voice-only mobile services to other activities, creating a viable audience for mobile marketing. Thirty-five percent of US households that own a mobile phone currently engage in text messaging and 11 percent access the mobile Internet. To combat preconditioned skepticism, marketers must recognize that mobile marketing is about offering value, not interrupting consumers with unmoving and irrelevant ads.

“To avoid the perception of mobile spam, marketers must work with the unique elements of the mobile channel itself and the relevance of their message,” said Forrester Research Principal Analyst and co-author of the report Christine Spivey Overby. “In contrast to other channels, mobile is highly integrated into people’s daily activities and physical environment. This means that marketers can embrace the real-world connections with relevant location-based services and campaigns that tie mobile and on-premise advertising.”

Forward-looking brands are already successfully employing multimedia messaging, mobile Web browsers, and downloadable applications and content to reach consumers via mobile phones. For example:

  • To increase late-night visits, McDonald’s placed mobile ads on mobile Web sites, like, which are frequented by young consumers. McDonald’s saw higher-than-average click-through rates due to a highly relevant offer: mobile coupons valid between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. for one night only.
  • Clear Channel radio station WXKS (KISS 108 FM) in Boston offers a “text club” in which listeners receive mobile alerts and promotions and use text to interact with disc jockeys during broadcasts. Forty-eight percent of the club sent texts for a chance to win breakfast with Nick Lachey.
  • Broadway Marketplace, a small Cambridge, Mass. grocer, replaced its card-based loyalty program with one that uses mobile phones to identify the shopper. This approach allows Broadway Marketplace to deliver promotions based on a shopper’s purchase history directly to a shopper’s mobile phone. Eighty-two percent of Broadway’s shoppers now belong to this program, with 64 percent participating on a regular basis.

“Broader mobile data adoption is finally providing marketers with a real opportunity to reach customers, particularly the young and socially connected,” said Forrester Research Principal Analyst and co-author of the report Charles S. Golvin. “But marketers must adopt a more nuanced campaign approach in order to reach these consumers due to the highly personal and intrusive nature of the mobile medium.”

The report “Is The US Ready For Mobile Marketing?” is currently available to Forrester WholeView 2™ clients and can also be purchased directly at,7211,40765,00.html