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Messaging ApplicationsAugust 4, 2016Written by Alex Debecker

Facebook Study: Consumers Love to Message Businesses

Putting the conversational marketing concept to the test.

A recent study carried out by Facebook IQ, in association with Nielsen, seems to validate our conversational marketing concept.

In this article, we’re going to have a look at the insights Facebook gained from their survey, and the impact they may have on the future of mobile marketing.


Understanding the evolution of mobile messaging

Mobile messaging application usage has been growing steadily year after year and doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down. About a year and a half ago, messaging application active users surpassed social media active users.


Messaging apps surpassed social networks BI intelligence


Facebook recently commissioned Nielsen to survey 12,500 people age 18+ across five continents and 14 markets. The aim of this survey is to shed light on how, and why, more and more people are interacting through messaging apps.

Overall, it seems people feel empowered by the instantaneity of mobile app messaging. Being able to reach out to a loved one, a friend or even a business straight from their phone and receive an immediate response is what encourages them to keep using messaging applications.

Facebook has released a great guide, displaying all the insights they’ve gathered from their survey. It’s free, you can find it here: Insight guide – The message heard around the world.

For this particular article, we’re going focus on the sections that matter to you as a business owner, or a marketer.


Turning messaging into profits

At ubisend we have been talking, and writing, about the power of mobile messaging for a while. We strongly believe mobile messaging will play a large part in the future of marketing and businesses who are present across the main messaging apps will gain the greatest competitive advantage.

Facebook’s survey agrees. One of the main takeaways is, 53pc of customers said they are more likely to shop with a business they can contact via a chat app.

For your business, being present on mobile messaging apps is extremely valuable. In case you’re still not convinced, here are two more stats that should speak to you:

  • 63% said they message more with businesses than they did two years ago;
  • 67% expect to message more with businesses over the next two years.

Not only do consumers spend more money with businesses they can speak to quickly, they also expect to try to reach out to businesses more in the future.

By communicating with customers using messaging applications there are incredible opportunities for anyone willing to take the leap.


customers shop with business they can contact messaging apps


Interacting at all stages of the buying cycle

Consumers seem to interact with businesses with clear, and different, buying intents. The Facebook survey drills down on this to show the exact stages people go through when messaging companies.

Stage one – Consideration

35% ask a business a question related to a product or service. 33% ask about store hours, location or inventory.

During the consideration stage, consumers leverage the instantaneity of messaging apps to get a quick answer. Instead of embarking in a long, and sometimes frustrating, journey for the information they’re looking for on the business’ website, they simply ask them.

To compliment this insight, our very own survey showed that 63.9% of consumers believe businesses should be available and contactable via messaging applications.

Download our 2016 mobile messaging report for free.

Stage two – Conversion

34% make or confirm an appointment. 33% make a purchase or place an order.

This shows clear buying behaviour. People are literally placing orders, buying products and booking services via messaging applications.

This is where businesses profit from the availability offered in the previous stage. Because they were there to help and assist the consumer, the consumer comes back and spends money.

Stage three – Connection

30% provide feedback about a business. 39% share photos of products.

After considering the business, and then buying from the business, consumers seem more likely to go the extra mile and share the experiencewith their friends and family on messaging applications.

This is where virality comes into play, and the cycle starts again.

(Almost) no generation gap in mobile messaging

Last Friday I had a very interesting meeting with the head of marketing of a local skincare company. After demoing our ubiquitous mobile messaging platform, we discussed the current state of messaging across the generations.

We were both quite fascinated by the graph we created for our recent mobile messaging report:


email vs messaging apps trend


It plots messaging app vs. email use across three generations. Although the 45+ age group uses messaging apps far less often than the 13-24, they are catching up quickly.

In our own respective families, we also realised our parents and older relatives seem to be adapting quickly to the use of apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Once again, Facebook agreed with us on this one. It turns out that there is but a slight disparity in messaging app use between the Millennials (65%), the Gen Xers (65%) and the Boomers (63%).

This shows that being present on messaging applications is a must for businesses, regardless of the age group they’re segmenting.


generations in messaging applications

Source: Insight guide – The message heard around the world

Conclusion: it’s time to get started

This is just the beginning.

The use of messaging applications is growing rapidly. At the same time, native app use is declining. The age of building a new app to communicate to customers, pouring tons of money into building and marketing it and hoping that it will be a success is ending.

The opportunity comes from utilising the messaging applications your customers are already using. You should get started today.


Your turn!

What did you think of the Facebook IQ report? Have you tried implementing a mobile messaging strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments!