Ingenio, a mobile pay-per-call ad provider, commissioned research that found over a quarter of the respondents preferred sponsored text links that appear as results to Web searches for mobile phone advertising.
4,123 adults responded to the survey and 26% replied positively to the concept of search-based mobile marketing. 21% of those surveyed showed a positive response to audio ads, which plays while the customer is waiting for the other caller to answer. While text messages advertising was deemed the least popular, about 20% of customers surveyed categorized this method “at least somewhat acceptable.”
The study was conducted by Harris Interactive and supported Ingenio’s previous data that said the majority of mobile searches are attempting to find local businesses with 411 being the most used form of information retrieval.
With only 30% of the customers surveyed claiming they recall receiving mobile advertising throughout the past year, Ingenio sees this as an indicator of a huge opportunity. The first step will be to revamp informational services. Where 411 charges a fee, Ingenio chief marketing officer Marc Barach believe that will give way to free searches that serve up advertising. “You listen to an ad that is relevant to your query,” he said. “Then you have a choice of following that advertiser path or staying on the phone and getting the listing you asked for.”
Barach continued to say that accurate targeting is what will make search-based mobile advertising a success. To compare it to a web browser, “the tolerance for error is that much smaller on the small screen,” he said.
There is a prediction that if others follow the lead of the iPhone, mobile advertising will become commonplace due to the regularity of mobile phones having better browsing abilities. He believes that fees for plans will go down as soon as the space becomes monetized by advertising.
“That’s really the silver lining to bringing more advertising to mobile [from a consumer point of view],” he said. “It will make the cost come down and ultimately be free,” which would probably make generate 100% customer approval.