It is almost hard to imagine life without a mobile phone. According to statistics from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 91% of American adults own a mobile phone (as of May 2013), and of all adults who own them, 55% use them to check email and browse the internet. About a third of owners in turn say that the majority of their online activity is through their phone or device rather than a computer, which means that nearly one-fifth of all adult cell phone owners see the Internet primarily on the screens of their cell phones. And that’s not even counting owners of tablets or e-readers!
Naturally, marketers want to be able to effectively advertise to consumers who use their mobile devices, and consumers want to be able to both accurately assess the value of those advertisements and exercise their right to choose to see targeted advertisements on their mobile devices. The speed with which this medium and market emerged and grew has so far left marketers scrambling to effectively gain that consent. Responsible marketers want to provide consumers with relevant and interesting ads, and give consumers the choice to control the use of their personal data.
In response to this need, our affiliate the Digital Advertising Alliance, which is committed to educating consumers about ads and enhancing their confidence in online content, recently issued new mobile guidance to help ensure that their Self-Regulatory Principles are honored in mobile environments as well as the desktop/laptop-based Internet. You can read more about DAA’s project and guidance here at their blog.
DAA’s polls have shown that Americans understand that ads fund the Internet environment they know and love, and they appreciate seeing advertisements tailored to their interests and needs. Most consumers, once they have been educated on the value of targeted advertising and the responsible use of their data, choose not to opt out of targeted advertising. Companies that offer consumers the chance to educate themselves and opt in or out of their services are following good practices, and with this new mobile guidance, they can continue to offer customers the value of choice and education.