Some 30% of consumers surveyed by JupiterResearch said that they were interested in receiving coupons on their mobile phone, despite the fact that only 1% of advertisers have yet adopted the technique.
During 2008, the company predicts that an increasing number of advertisers will begin to take advantage of the growing consumer interest in mobile coupons and promotions, although the anticipated growth will initially be small (less than 10% year-on-year).
Focus on relevance and value
In order to be truly successful, the company suggests, these mobile marketing tactics will need to focus on providing highly relevant offers, delivering value, managing frequency, and give the consumer complete control.
The research report, entitled 'Mobile Coupons: Identifying New Opportunities Beyond Early Trials', also shows how some advertisers are already aiming to exploit the modern mobile phone's inherent location and real-time delivery capabilities that could potentially help m-coupons become more popular with consumers than traditional paper coupons.
No longer a niche
According to Neil Strother, JupiterResearch analyst and lead author of the report, "Mobile coupons are gaining traction among advertisers and they are no longer just a niche tactic. Instead, they are moving toward the mainstream and more common usage."
Strother noted that there are definite benefits to using mobile coupons, such as real-time offers, geo-targeting, personalisation, time-of-day redemption tracking, triggering impulse purchases, and a lower cost of delivery. But while there is tremendous untapped potential, there are still several significant barriers to their widespread adoption.
Barriers to m-coupon adoption
Redemption methods are one key barrier to wider usage by advertisers. Very few retailers currently have systems that are able to read coupons directly from mobile handset screens.
This means that, in order to participate in such a programme, all of a retailer's POS systems need either to be upgraded, or another way of verifying and tracking m-coupons needs to be implemented. Current alternative methods include:
- Entering the code manually into the cash register;
- Tying the code to a customer's loyalty card number;
- Writing the code on the store's receipt copy.
Benefits to advertisers
Although there are clearly still some technological problems that need to be solved, this method of mobile marketing does present some worthwhile benefits to advertisers.
For example, mobile coupons can provide the flexibility and timing needed to target prospective consumers who are most likely to respond to an offer, and at exactly the right time. According to David Schatsky, president for JupiterResearch, the effectiveness of m-couponing will usually be determined by the level of measurement conducted, and the business intelligence that can be gained from accurate and meaningful metrics.