Interactivity Key to Wireless Ads

Consumers are all for wireless advertising — so long as the the ads are interactive and the consumers believe the ads provide a useful service, according to a study by SkyGo, Inc.

In addition, consumer enthusiasm for the wireless ads decreased significantly as time wore on, the study found.

The wireless marketing company said that the study, which used 1,000 Boulder, Colo. residents, found that 64 percent of ads, delivered via Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) alerts, were opened by consumers. The company said that the overall ad recall rate was 58 percent and that and 15 percent of the ads resulted in action or planned action by the consumers.

Of the 64 percent of ads that were opened, ads featuring interactivity generated the highest click-through rates. Specifically, ads with interactive trivia had a 52 percent click-through rate, according to the company. Also popular were ads that enabled users to participate in polls, register for newsletters and services and to receive information via their accounts.

So-called click-to-buy features were also popular, according to the company. About 37 percent of participants provided credit card information, which tickled VISA’s fancy.

“We are particularly excited by the number of participants who opted to sign up for the electronic wallet,” said Annette Merriman, director of technology for e-VISA, a division of the credit card company.

Adding the ability to enable users to click on an ad to make a call to a merchant, however, received little support, with only a 0.7 click-through rate. The company said that surveys of participants found they tended to be annoyed by traditional ads that simply tout products.

Also irritating to consumers were ads that were not targeted to their specific interests, according to the company. In addition, uptake of ads was much higher at the beginning of the study period.

“We had a feeling that these numbers would not sustain as the novelty of the medium wore off. We were correct,” said Daren Tsui, co-founder and CEO of SkyGo. “The numbers did indeed taper, eventually falling to a point that we believe is a more realistic indication of how the medium will perform over time. “We also feel that wireless will be no different than any other medium — over time these numbers may continue to drop. However, the strength of these early findings demonstrates that this medium will remain viable for the long haul.”

The company said it concluded from the study that wireless advertisers must walk a fine line between providing consumers with a positive experience and turning them off to wireless advertising.

The company said it delivered about 550 unique advertising campaigns during the four-month study period, which delivered more than 500,000 individual advertising alerts to the participants. Many of the ads were delivered based on individual users’ personal profiles and were delivered only by permission, the company said.

“We set out to determine whether consumers would accept profile-based alerts on their mobile phones,” said Tsui. “Our findings prove that this model of wireless advertising is an effective direct response and branding vehicle.

“The data we’ve gathered illustrates that when done correctly, wireless advertising offers carriers a way to reduce churn, publishers a method to monetize their wireless content and consumers a compelling value-added service.”

Reprinted from internet.com’s AllNetDevices.

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