There is a rising level of dissatisfaction among smartphone users in terms of how brands are engaging them through the mobile channel, according to a consumer survey from TNS and digital marketing consultancy Ampersand Mobile. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The research surveyed the opinions of 1,612 UK smartphone users to understand their feelings toward current branded apps, showing that marketers are missing a step in terms of engaging with their customers over mobile.

Importantly for marketers, the research demonstrates consumers are already growing weary of an app-based approach to mobile and are looking for greater innovation in personalisation, relevance and utility:

  • 71% believe branded apps do not engage and merely market and push content
  • 54% avoid big brand apps, as they see them as just a one way marketing tool
  • Almost half (47%) delete all branded apps after just one use due to poor engagement, while the vast majority (84%) delete at least some
  • 62% think apps have reached market saturation and something new is needed
  • Almost half (44%) believe touch input is on its way out, to be replaced by more intuitive interactions, such as voice, motion or other innovation.

"The research shows that marketers are really struggling to keep up with the speed of innovation and consumer adoption of new tech Across the board, and especially in mobile, forward thinking marketers have an opportunity to differentiate and thus improve their brand's ability to retain, engage, and monetise customers," said said Nader Alaghband, CEO for Ampersand Mobile.

The survey also looked into why people download and keep some apps over others. It found that 53% of respondents downloaded apps they considered to be useful (such as train travel apps), and a further 51% downloaded informative apps (such as the BBC); these figures remained constant across the ages. Interestingly though, there were wide variations in terms of users that downloaded apps that provided entertainment, heath data or discounts depending on their age:

  • 61% of 16-24 year olds download entertaining entertainment apps, compared to 20% of those aged 55-64
  • 35% of 16-24 year olds download health apps, compared to 16% of ages 55-64
  • 28% of 16-24 year old and 32% of 25-34 year olds download apps for special offers, compared to 21% 55-64 year olds (21%)

"The relationship between brands and consumers has completely transformed over recent years," Alaghband added. "Technology empowers Millenials, and the mobile generation more generally, with a vast choice of - and immediate access to - brands' products and services. Loyalty is increasingly playing second fiddle to quality and experience. Yet the results show that there are a number of ways that brands and businesses can engage this generation. Thinking about mobile from a consumer's perspective, understanding their expectations about value exchange and focusing on best in class experience isn't all that complicated - and will enable marketers to build deep and lasting relationships with an important."