Mobile Phones Organize Lives

A total of 234 million people age 13 and older in the U.S. used mobile devices by the end of Q4 2009.

According to a new survey recently announced by Ruder Finn, Americans are spending an average of 2.7 hours on the mobile Internet, connecting socially, managing their personal finances, and even as a means for advocacy. 91% of mobile phone users go online to socialize compared to only 79% of traditional desktop users. Mobile phone users are 1.6 times more likely to manage finances compared to traditional desktop users. Mobile phone users are 1.4 times more likely than traditional desktop users to rally support for a cause.

According to the Mobile Intent Index, mobile phone users do not access the mobile Internet for educational purposes or for creative expression, as the transitory nature of mobile intent goes against spending time to engage in discussions about personal issues. Usage by gender and age differ, with men accessing the mobile Internet 'to escape,' and women to entertain others.

Kathy Bloomgarden, Ruder Finn co-CEO, says "Mobile phones have become the way people organize their lives... and this trend will... accelerate... the faster businesses can adapt their services... the more rapidly they can... understand their customers to drive growth."

The Mobile Intent Index asked respondents how frequently they use their mobile phones to go online, and the results show that immediacy is the primary factor driving behavior.

Marty McGough, director, Ruder Finn Insights says, though, that "Mobile phone use goes beyond instant gratification... people use their mobile phones... for instant access to conduct business with the most recent information or advocate on the spot on issues of pressing concern and breaking news."

Michael Schubert, Chief Innovation Officer overseeing digital strategy at Ruder Finn added, "... people are taking advantage of (mobile technology)... to do their core work while using desktops to navigate longer format and higher bandwidth content and tools... resulting in huge... opportunities across industries... making mobile an essential channel in keeping businesses competitive."

Key results from the Mobile Intent Index Survey, include:

Mobile phones are a social connector, says the report. 91% of mobile users go online to socialize, compared to only 79% of traditional users. The top socialize intents are:

  • Instant message (62%)
  • Forward e-mails (58%), content (40%) and photos (38%)
  • Post comments on social networking sites (45%)
  • Connect to people on social networking sites (43%)

Mobile phone users are more likely to go online to do business compared to traditional users, and are 1.6 times more likely to manage finances. Mobile phones offer users the chance to conduct business in real time, and this is the major reason that business-related intents are so high. The top business intents are:

  • Online banking - 46%
  • Check bill/credit card status - 40%
  • Read business blogs - 33%

Nearly half of mobile users go online to advocate compared to only 41% of traditional users. Mobile phones offer users the chance to immediately respond to breaking news, whether it is a new piece of legislation or the latest ongoing development of a corporation or politician under siege. The top advocacy intents are:

  • Activate support for a cause or position - 67%
  • Post opinions on social networking sites - 45%
  • Forward content on a cause - 40%

Mobile users are much less likely than all users to go online to learn. Learning requires time and patience, something mobile phone users are in short supply of.

  • They are 1.5 times less likely than the traditional user to go online to educate themselves
  • They are 1.4 times less likely than the traditional user to go online to research
  • They are more likely than the traditional user to go online to keep informed

Mobile users are 1.3 times less likely to personally express themselves online compared to traditional users. The transitory nature of their intents speaks against spending the time to engage in discussions about personal issues while using their mobile phones.

  • They are 1.7 times less likely than the traditional user to go online to opine
  • They are 1.8 times less likely than the traditional user to go online to be creative

Additionally, gender and age influence the Intent of mobile phone users according to the study:

  • Men (79%) are much more likely than women (61%) to use their mobile phone to simply "escape"
  • Many more women (70%) than men (58%) go online using their mobile devices to entertain others
  • Youth (44%) are more likely to shop over their mobile phones than the average mobile user (35%)
  • Seniors (82%) are much more likely than the traditional user (64%) to use their mobile phones to educate themselves

For more information, please visit Ruder-Finn here.

3 comments about "Mobile Phones Organize Lives".
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  1. John Ribbler from Media Pro, Inc., February 24, 2010 at 5:38 p.m.

    Only a public relations firm could interpret the behavior patterns enabled by mobile communications as "organizing." All of the messaging, opining, reading, etc. is done in a knee jerk, haphazard manner. The wonderful new technologies allow people to avoid planning, careful deliberation and prudent decision making. Those are all of the benefits of organization.

    John Ribbler

  2. Bob Zeitlinger from B To Z Communications, March 15, 2010 at 7:34 p.m.

    112 people recommended this dreck? Does anyone care about the methodology for these unbelievable numbers?

    This study is flawed in so many ways, it's not funny. By "Americans," Ruder Finn really means "Americans who have already said they use their phones to access the Internet." And the survey sample -- this Wats Opinion Post -- is merely a group of people who signed up to take surveys on a web site. It tells you something about the people taking the surveys, doesn't it?

    And even within this group, they choose the surveys they want to participate in ... i.e., the topics that are of most interest to them!

  3. Jack Brosnan, March 19, 2010 at 5:58 a.m.

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
    Jack brosnan
    <a href="" rel="dofollow">apple iphone</a>

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