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Why Consumers in China Will Respond to Mobile Ads

Advertising on mobile devices and mobile money services are making strong inroads among the growing affluent segments of China's population, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.

This perhaps counters the conventional thinking that consumer response to mobile advertising -- and the use of mobile devices for financial transactions -- are limited to the mature North American and European markets.

ABI's online survey of 1,000 Chinese consumers was conducted in March-April 2011. Note, however, that given the online approach to the survey, the sample is entirely drawn from the technology-enabled part of the Chinese population.

"Respondents were asked to indicate what actions they had taken as a result of clicking on an ad displayed on their mobile phones over the previous three months," said practice director Neil Strother.

Nearly half (49 percent) of survey respondents had received a coupon, while 46 percent had investigated the product or service and 45 percent had signed up to receive text alerts. These were the most common responses.

As result of these responses, at least a quarter of respondents had also visited a local business (44 percent), downloaded or purchased some content (44 percent), signed up for an email newsletter (39 percent), or made a purchase (25 percent).

Strother adds, "These survey results highlight that commercialization of the mobile Internet through advertising is fairly strong in China. There may be a different kind of openness to advertising at work here."

Meaning, it's very possible that newly-affluent Chinese consumers are more receptive to advertising than some of their western counterparts -- whose cultures have already been saturated with ads for many generations.

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