Mobile operators globally are missing revenue potential of personalisation

Global revenues from mobile applications and services are being hampered by an inability to personalise mobile devices says new research commissioned by mobile device management (MDM) specialist, Mformation.

Matthew Bancroft, vice president at Mformation, commented: “Consumers want to use more applications and services, but these need to be tailored to the needs of each user. They want a more personalised mobile experience. Operators could achieve this by allowing a pick and mix approach to applications and services.Our research indicates that consumers want to be able to choose from a range of applications and services and then tailor them to their needs when buying a new phone. As they use the phone, they want similar flexibility to personalise and add new services.”

Mformation said 80%of respondents to the survey indicated that they would use mobile services more if greater personalisation were possible. A further 67% of mobile subscribers stated they would be willing to pay a premium to personalise their mobile devices and the applications and services on them. In fact, 86% of people said this would enrich their mobile experience. The research also revealed that over two thirds (68%) of mobile users find buying a phone frustrating when they know that there are applications and services on it that they will never use. This clearly demonstrates that greater personalisation offers an opportunity to unlock pent-up demand.

94 % of consumers are already attempting to personalise their phones with items like specific ringtones or accessories. However, 89% said that they would like a higher level of personalisation through the ability to pick and mix applications, services, and other characteristics of the handset such as form factors and designs. Moreover, 81% would switch to a provider that offered greater choice for customisation.

The research also found the following results: Revenue-generating mobile data services such as mobile email (43%), internet (51%) and picture messaging (46%) are gaining ground as the most frequently used applications; There are still a large number of people who never or rarely use these applications (email – 57 %, Internet – 49%, picture messaging – 54%); More than half of people who don’t currently have access to these applications would use them if they were made available in a simple and compelling manner (email – 62%, Internet – 58%, picture messaging – 68%);

“The message is straightforward. Greater investment in personalisation will ensure better targeting of services relevant to users. As we’ve seen in many other industries, when consumers have a greater opportunity to specify the make up of the products and services they purchase, they will use those products and services more,” added Bancroft.
The research was undertaken by independent research house Coleman Parkes which asked 4,000 people in the UK and US about their mobile usage and preferences.

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