Despite vowing to never introduce adverts to its platform, messaging service WhatsApp is gearing up to start showing marketing messages from brands in 2020. However, a new study suggests that this could be a misjudged decision and turn consumers against the messaging platform.

The study by marketing technology company, Pure360, has revealed that just 5% of British consumers would be open to receiving marketing messages from brands, including those they have not shopped with previously, on their WhatsApp channels during the working day. Whilst 9% say they would be happy to get adverts on WhatsApp during the working day, this is under the proviso that the messages are relevant to them and from brands that the consumer has previously engaged with.

The report, which was conducted by Censuswide and surveyed 2,000 British consumers, also identifies some of the reasons for WhatsApp users being against the launch of adverts on the platform. For 31%, the thought of being disturbed by marketing messages from brands on WhatsApp during working hours would be put off from their job and find it distracting.

Conversely, 4% of British consumers are more open to procrastination and would be happy to receive WhatsApp adverts to help distract them from their job. One in five Brits don’t want to receive marketing messages on WhatsApp during working hours because they want to keep professional and personal communications channels separate from each other.

The study also examines how consumers are interacting with brands and the experience they are receiving. Just 21% of consumers are satisfied with the customer experience they receive from the brands they share their data with. The findings additionally showed that 45% of Brits are now more conscious of the data they are sharing with brands and have become more selective as a result.

Komal Helyer, VP Marketing, Pure360: “Consumers today have a clear view on how, when and where they want brands to engage with them – and expect this to be respected. WhatsApp’s plans to launch adverts on the platform isn’t a decision that many are going to welcome and that could spell problems for the messaging service.

“Brands considering marketing to consumers across WhatsApp should strongly consider whether they are contributing to commercial noise. Instead, they should focus their efforts on building tailored experiences that are right for their customer base.”

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