MMA: Mobile Data Growth May Boost Marketing
The Mobile Marketing Association's annual consumer survey, conducted with research partner Synovate, revealed greater use of mobile data services in the last year, with four in five subscribers text messaging, and two in five texting daily. Picture and video messaging, along with mobile camera use, are also among the fastest-growing non-voice activities.
Only one in five subscribers surf the mobile Web, however--and those ages 18 to 24 are the most active, at 37%. More than half can't recall what browser they use. Not surprisingly, teens and young adults spend the most time on mobile phones, and teens rate mobile devices ahead of TV, MP3 players and computers in importance.
Based on those findings, coupled with young adults being more likely to participate in mobile marketing efforts (12%), the MMA recommends targeting campaigns to the 18-to-24 demographic. The best ways to reach this group are promotional tools such as downloadable ringtones, mobile coupons, location-based information, status alerts and text-to-win sweepstakes.
Overall, 1 in 4 U.S. mobile consumers say they are either moderately or strongly interested in mobile marketing--unchanged from last year. That compares to one-half and two-thirds of mobile users in Asia-Pacific and Latin American markets, respectively, expressing interest.
But the MMA believes the higher mobile data usage is opening the door to increased marketing opportunities. Mobile coupons in particular have become more popular in the last few years, with 22% of users getting them in 2008.
That's a trend that may continue to gain steam in the next year as consumers more widely embrace coupons in response to a harsher economic climate.
In its report, the MMA also suggests that marketers focus on African-American and Hispanic audiences because of their disproportionately high use of feature phones and smartphones. Both groups are also more likely to use text messaging and be more open to marketing on mobile devices than white subscribers.
"These segments represent key opportunities to get more 'bang for the buck,'" according to the MMA report.
So far, increased mobile media consumption has not translated into increased advertising, according to a Nielsen Mobile study released earlier this year. It found that most mobile users see ads just once a month or less, and that ads appear on less than two-thirds of mobile home page views, with half of those being house ads.
The MMA survey findings were based on 1,585 online interviews conducted with mobile users on Synovate's panel of 5 million households.