Survey reveals 80% of African consumers are annoyed by mobile marketing

Mobile phones

Mobile phones

New research conducted in South Africa and Nigeria by French research firm Ifop reveals that 80% of people feel annoyed when receiving unsolicited marketing messages on their mobile phones. The same proportion, the research has revealed, could however be won back by operators and brands if they implement best practices to improve customer engagement.

Working on behalf of Gemalto, Ifop conducted face-to-face interviews with 800 adult (18 years of age and older) mobile phone owners in Nigeria and South Africa. The goal of the research was to understand consumer thinking regarding mobile marketing and to identify the negative perceptions they have about mobile marketing in both regions. The research was done in July 2014.

The research reveals similar desires among South African and Nigerian consumers. Consumers in both countries have the desire to be in control of the mobile marketing campaigns they receive on their mobile devices. The research reveals that 83% of respondents think that mobile marketing should be permission-based and 90% want to be able to identify the sender. Consumers also want messages that are relevant to them, obviously. It’s pretty alarming then that around 70% said they had received promotional messages not in line with their interests.

The other finding is that consumers want tangible benefits. About 53% of the South African consumers expect, in this order of preference: immediate discounts, loyalty benefits, and the possibility to collect points and gifts.

The survey also found that there is huge potential for mobile marketing in Africa, but that people’s desires should always be taken into consideration. That means marketing needs to be targeted at the right person, right message, and right moment. The way to achieve this is by giving the end-user control to opt in, opt out and select the frequency of messages; as well as the ability to point out if messages are relevant and provide value.

Vice President of Mobile Marketing, Nadia Gonzalez, said:

“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 audience. 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.”



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