London, 2 May 2013 – Upstream, the global mobile marketing technology and solutions provider, has today published the Emerging Markets Mobile Attitudes Report 2013, identifying trends regarding consumer mobile engagement across key global emerging markets. The report includes new research carried out by YouGov and Vanson Bourne which polls the views of a representative sample of 3,670 adults in Brazil, India, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia regarding their mobile preferences.
Chapter 1: Embracing the mobile revolution
The report highlights that an appetite for smartphones is evident in emerging markets, with almost half of respondents to the research revealing that they would be happy to pay between $100 and $300 for their desired handset.
However, while the biggest players in the West are also some of the most coveted brands in developing regions, the order of the front-runners is notably different in the emerging markets. The results find that the popularity of Apple in the West is lost in emerging markets. In fact, on the wish list of handsets consumers would like to own in emerging markets, those developed by Apple (21 per cent) are typically the third most sought after. The research uncovers Samsung as victorious in these regions, a brand favoured by almost a third of consumers (32 per cent). Nokia secures second place (22 per cent), which in part can be attributed to the investment it has made in emerging markets and its lower cost handsets.
The findings also reveal that where consumers in these markets are prepared to purchase valuable phones, if the device is priced too high or deemed beyond their reach, almost a third of consumers (27 per cent) will ultimately bypass their favourite brands and buy devices which feature similar functionality, offered at a cheaper price.
Chapter 2: Mobile content consumption in emerging markets
Findings featured in the report also reveal that consumers are prepared to spend money on all manner of products and services such as mobile banking, educational materials and health and agricultural information services that they can use in their daily lives. Apps related to education are of interest to over half of respondents (52 per cent), followed by business (47 per cent), then health (41 per cent), and almost one in five who would use their mobile to access political services (19 per cent).
While the demand for data usage is present, the report identifies that the mechanics behind the payment for this content by consumers are limited. This means that emerging markets need a different approach in terms of the way apps and data can be purchased which is in line with consumer means, affordability and preferences. The report identifies a huge opportunity available to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to build a more appropriate and effective model and deliver the data content and applications that consumers desire given the established billing relationship they have in place with consumers. In fact, when questioned about how they would like to pay for content such as mobile apps or alerts, nearly half of all emerging market consumers (42 per cent) favoured payment through their MNO.
Chapter 3: Attitudes to mobile advertising
The report also explores the role of mobile advertising in emerging markets. The findings reveal that emerging market consumers are very open to mobile advertising, with over two thirds (68 per cent) saying that they are happy to receive promotions from brands on a weekly basis. Furthermore, one in five are happy to receive advertising daily and up to 7 per cent of consumers would be open to receiving promotional material more than once a day.
When identifying the most effective forms of mobile advertising, SMS marketing is identified as the most welcomed format across emerging markets, with 51 per cent wanting to receive promotional messages in this way.
Marco Veremis, CEO, Upstream comments, “This report goes a long way to predicting which areas of the mobile industry will emerge as triumphant in these new rapidly emerging markets. With consumers in emerging markets increasingly adopting over-the-top (OTT) services, accessing content and apps, we can expect MNOs to invest both time and resource to grow in these regions”.
Veremis continued, “In the emerging markets, MNOs have both the ability to create data plans that are suitable and affordable, and also provide services that do not require credit/debit cards – something that many consumers have limited access to. As a result, there is a massive opportunity for mobile operators to lead the market by developing their own Rich Communication Services and data services, which are easily adopted and paid for by consumers in emerging markets. Couple this with the fact that MNOs are the most trusted senders of marketing messages and promotions, their pedestal position means that brands and mobile service providers need to reassess their relationship with MNOs and work closely with them when devising an emerging market strategy.”