Marketing Madness

Study Finds that College Students Actually Dislike Mobile Advertising

Most marketers have their eyes set on the same basic age group when it comes to targeting their advertising efforts, and college students generally fall smack in the middle of that demographic. Now, a majority of people are familiar with the college experience, having lived it at some level. Part of this college experience is a general lack of money, or at least a slight financial struggle throughout the duration of one’s college years. However, despite the money troubles those college students continue to face today, nearly every student on any college campus in the US can be seen carrying the newest and most exciting form of mobile technology, usually in the form of a smartphone.

An annual survey of college students at Ball State finds that smartphone and feature phone usage has flip-flopped since 2009. In a recent survey, 73 percent of students reported using a smartphone as compared to 27 percent in 2009.

It probably has to do with smartphones being much more than just phones these days, allowing students the freedom to leave their laptops at home on some school days. With social media and email having such an immense impact on this generation, college students feel that they cannot leave home without their smartphones. Therefore, it is college students who often receive particular attention from mobile advertisers, but this may not necessarily be the right method.

The recent report from Ball State University, a state-run university in Indiana that is well known for its impressive research capabilities, shows just how college students feel about the seemingly constant flow of mobile advertisements they receive on their smartphones on a daily basis.

According to the report, college students really do not enjoy mobile marketing that is directed their way at all. A total of 83 percent of the respondents in the university’s survey said that they do not see anything good about the marketing that appears on their phones. In last year’s release of the annual report, only about 68 percent of students said the same, which means that in students’ eyes, mobile marketing tactics are only becoming more annoying. It has even driven these students to the point that they are less likely to purchase from a company if they receive advertising from them on their phones, making said company’s efforts entirely counterproductive.

Now, of course this information will not make mobile advertisers drop the platform all together, but perhaps these marketers should consider the best ways to cater to their target market, instead of simply aggravating them with the same old marketing techniques. As with anybody that uses the web, college students would become more engaged and interested in these mobile advertisements if they contained a greater sense of creativity or something that these students could relate to more easily. College students can be seen browsing on their mobile devices more than any other age group today, and making advertisements work for them turns out to be quite important.

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Pesach Lattin

Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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