Text Messaging Provides U.S. Consumers with a Convenient, Secure & Immediate Way to Help Haitian Earthquake Victims & Charities | MMA Global

Text Messaging Provides U.S. Consumers with a Convenient, Secure & Immediate Way to Help Haitian Earthquake Victims & Charities

April 6, 2010

Mobile Marketing Association – Luth Research Survey Finds
SMS Second Only to the Web for Charitable Donations

New York, London, UK, Singapore & Sao Paulo: April 6, 2010 - The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) (www.mmaglobal.com) and its official research partner, Luth Research (www.luthresearch.com), today released highlights from the latest Consumer Briefing, a monthly survey of U.S. adult consumers about their mobile marketing behaviors and opinions. Conducted in the aftermath of the devastating Haitian earthquake in January, the survey demonstrates that text messaging is now widely accepted by Americans seeking to make charitable donations quickly, conveniently, and securely.

Based on Luth Research’s online panel, SurveySavvy™, each MMA U.S. Mobile Consumer Briefing collects answers from a demographically representative sample of more than 1,000 U.S. adult consumers.  The new survey shows that text messaging is now the second most common way that U.S. mobile users donate to charities, such as those assisting in Haitian earthquake relief efforts.

In the latest survey, 93 percent of respondents said they own a cell phone, and 33 percent of that subset indicated they donated to Haitian relief efforts through one or more means. The survey’s other key findings include:

  • Among the 33 percent of U.S. cell phone owners who donated to Haitian relief efforts, 34 percent used a PC and Web site, while 22 percent used SMS.
  • Looking at all consumers surveyed – i.e., including those who didn’t donate to Haitian relief efforts – about 7% of respondents reported donating via SMS.
  • The Haiti earthquake was a watershed moment in SMS donations, which were almost double the number of people who had ever previously used text messaging for charitable contributions.
  • SMS-based donations will become even more common in the near future: 7 percent of respondents donated via SMS to Haitian relief, but 23 percent said they were very likely or somewhat likely to donate via texting in the future.
  • African-Americans and Hispanics were the largest demographic groups using SMS for donations, and males contributed via text messaging at nearly twice the rate of females.

Conducted in mid-February, the survey asked a variety of questions, including:

  • Means of donation used to contribute to Haitian relief, if any
  • Previous texting donation experience
  • Likelihood of text donations in future
  • Industry practices that would increase consumer willingness to text donations
  • Brand of current cell phone
  • Current cellular service provider

"The MMA is proud to be part of an industry whose companies and customers responded so quickly and generously to the Haitian relief effort," said Michael Becker, North American Managing Director, MMA. "We hope that the record donations will encourage other charities, companies and individuals to consider using Premium SMS, and related mobile channels, both for the current relief effort and for future interactive consumer engagements."

“The latest survey reveals how the mobile channel is rapidly becoming the preferred means for many U.S. consumers when making charitable donations,” said Peter A. Johnson, vice president of market intelligence, MMA, and author of the study. “The mobile channel provides consumers with a secure, convenient way to respond immediately to charitable appeals no matter where they appear, whether in a print or broadcast ad or anywhere else. Mobile’s immediacy benefits charities and those they seek to help because it relieves consumers of the burden of having to wait until the next time they’re at a PC with their credit card or can pull out their checkbook and mail a donation.”

“The mobile platform continues to grow as an increasingly ‘standard’ medium for the general population to conduct important daily activities,” said Jacqueline Rosales, EVP, Business Development & Client Service, Luth Research. “The consumer outpouring of mobile-enabled Haiti donation confirms we will continue to see the power and convenience of the mobile handset fuel the integration of the full spectrum of life activities initiated from the mobile.”

Available exclusively to MMA members, each MMA Consumer Briefing includes a 2- to 3-page executive summary, all survey questions and up to 50 tables of detailed results. Survey responses are provided both in aggregate and in cross-tabulation by standard audience demographics, such as age, gender and income, as well as wireless carrier and handset manufacturer.

About the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)
The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) is the premier global non-profit trade association established to lead the growth of mobile marketing and its associated technologies. The MMA is an action-oriented organization designed to clear obstacles to market development, establish mobile media guidelines and best practices for sustainable growth, and evangelize the use of the mobile channel. The more than 700 member companies, representing over forty countries around the globe, include all members of the mobile media ecosystem. The Mobile Marketing Association’s global headquarters are located in the United States and it has regional chapters including North America (NA), Europe (EUR), Latin America (LATAM), Middle East & Africa (MEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC) branches. For more information, please visit www.mmaglobal.com.

About Luth Research
Founded in 1977, Luth Research is a San Diego-based market research firm that provides clients with forward-thinking market intelligence that moves businesses ahead in a competitive economy. Using its proprietary technology, data collection resources and research methods, including its online panel, SurveySavvyTM, the company helps businesses track emerging trends, measure message effectiveness and understand how consumers think and act. For more information, call (800) 465-5884.


Valerie Christopherson
Global Results Comm. (GRC)
P:+1 949 608 0276
E: [email protected]