••• consumer psychology

Keep politics out of health-compliance messaging

Public messages should show respect for individual freedoms and personal choice and leave the politics at the door if communicators expect compliance, according to researchers at West Virginia University’s John Chambers College of Business and Economics.

Vijay Bharti, a 2021 business administration graduate, led research examining compliance with COVID-19 recommendations and whether public health messaging held any influence. The study, ‘You Can’t Make Me Do It!’: A Model of Consumer Compliance, was coauthored with Paula Fitzgerald, professor of business administration, and Elizabeth Gratz, now an assistant professor of marketing at St. Bonaventure University.

Bharti says communicators should consider three factors that can lead people to react against guidelines like social distancing: whether the messaging makes people feel their freedoms are restricted; whether it fails to address conditions such as COVID-19 fatigue which may create a sense of complacency; and whether people perceive an action as a matter of personal choice when messaging presents it as an ethical one.

The research also translates beyond the health care space to other challenging environments for customer compliance such as airplanes, stores and restaurants. Gratz sees their findings informing a range of issues, such as age-related compliance; consumption of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis; and even safety compliance at recreational venues like last year’s Astroworld Festival, where 10 deaths and hundreds of injuries might have been prevented had safety rules been better communicated.

••• ad research

In-app ads lead to adding apps

You know those annoying ads for other apps that interrupt your app usage? Unfortunately they work very well, according to The Modern Mobile Consumer 2022: App Discovery and Monetization, a study by app economy business platform ironSource. Seventy-four percent of consumers surveyed for the study downloaded apps after viewing mobile ads for them.

Insights were collected from 30,457 consumers through opt-in surveys across thousands of mobile apps within MobileVoice, ironSource’s market research solution, as well as 500 additional respondents from a control group used to eliminate bias and confirm accuracy.

Not surprisingly, entertainment and relaxation are the primary drivers of app use, with 65% of consumers repeatedly using their apps for those purposes. And a relaxing user is ideal for app makers: People say they are most likely to download new apps while on vacation or in their free time.

Among the audience surveyed in apps outside of game apps, 60% play mobile games, tying with social media for most-used type of apps. And the research confirmed what we all know: Consumers only use a small number of the apps they download, with the majority of mobile users saying they have 20 or more apps on their devices but up to 50% only use five to 10 daily.