Study: Mobile Web Not Yet Ready For Prime Time
"Although the 'mobile Internet' is the future, it is not ready for prime time yet," asserted the 131-page report, "Fluid Lives," which examined the Web's influence on consumers.
For the report, researchers outfitted consumers worldwide with "the latest mobile technology available in their markets," only to observe that many U.S. subjects weren't able to use their phones for anything other than making voice calls or sending text messages.
"Mobile content, such as news, games, music, and video-clips, was considered to take far too long to download," stated the report. "Even those few who did start to get into downloading things to their phone quickly hit a wall, running out of storage capacity."
The study relies on research conducted between October 2005 and February 2006, including in-person questioning of select broadband families, and an Ipsos Insight online survey in February of 341 U.S. broadband users between the ages of 18 and 49.
The study also looked at attitudes on online marketing; one conclusion was that Web users increasingly expect marketers to deliver ads that are relevant to content and to their own interests.
What's more, states the report, ads not perceived as relevant are a source of irritation. "The fact that online advertising is so often irrelevant is seen as almost archaic, as if advertisers have not kept pace with the power of the Internet and the fashion in which other types of online content have evolved."
When researchers specifically asked broadband users how to improve online advertising, 62 percent of U.S. respondents said the ads would gain a boost with greater relevance to content. About the same proportion of U.S. respondents--64 percent--said they only read online ads if they're "relevant and useful" to what they're trying to accomplish at the time.
About one in three U.S. respondents--or 30 percent--said that online advertising would be improved if marketers served ads tailored to people's preferences--much the way Amazon.com sends consumers recommendations based on their prior purchases. But, warns the report, some respondents reported that such ads "would be too much like 'big brother.'"
Thirty-four percent of U.S. respondents also said that Web ads should be funnier and more entertaining, while 12 percent said that Internet ads should be more like TV ads or a short film.
Pop-ups remained in disfavor, with 62 percent of U.S. respondents saying they had installed pop-up blockers. "Nearly everyone we spoke to expressed a vitriolic hatred of pop-ups and other similarly intrusive animated formats," stated the report, which also advised: "Stop using pop-ups or things resembling them."