Caution: College Kids PO’d Over Text Ads
A lot has been made about the opportunity of using mobile marketing
with younger consumers. One of the elements of this topic that perhaps is not
given enough attention is the opportunity for mobile marketing to seriously
tick off kids.
A study of primarily female college students by Ball State University,
as reported on by eMarketer, found that the majority has seen text ads
on their phones. Forty percent of them, however, were annoyed to receive the
ad. Just above one percent (no typo) were pleased and roughly 18 percent were
Really troubling for marketers is that 30 percent who received text
ads said it made it less likely they would purchase the product. Fewer than
five percent said a text ad makes purchasing more likely.
Getting these consumers
to accept text ads requires some wheeling and dealing. Thirty-seven percent
said they would accept ads if they got something at no extra cost in return.
The eMarketer piece mentioned ringtones and free
music as valued currency. Even better, two-thirds would be willing to receive
text ads if they were paid to read them. A dollar-a-pop was mentioned as the
desired going-rate to read text ads.
Coupons, the closest thing that many brands
have to giving away money, were less attractive to the Ball State kids with
49.1 percent willing to accept them via text. Discounts to restaurants and
movie theater were most likely to be accepted by the survey’s respondents.
Discussion Questions: Do marketers fully appreciate the social aspect of text
messaging with college-age kids? How should this understanding shape the types
of communications marketers send to these consumers?