I have been doing a lot of work and research lately in QR Codes and mobile marketing and one of the things that people often say is that not very many people have smartphones so it is a waste of time to get too involved in mobile marketing. Smartphones are a critical piece to this because even though you can text or access your e-mail with most mobile phones you need a smartphone to access the internet and really take advantage of social media applications. This is all changing very fast according to studies done by Nielsen, State of the Media: Social Media Report Q3 2011; and by Chadwick Martin Baily, The “Go-to” Device: Smartphones and Tablets Change Consumers’ Entertainment Behavior and The Changing Mobile Consumer: Trends and Evolution. Here are some of those trends and why I think they are important, especially for those who want to stay connected their mobile customers.
- 46% have a Smartphone and/or a Tablet: Just a couple of months ago this number was around 30% and it is growing fast. According to Chadwick Martin Baily “Consumers are replacing “fixed” devices (like desktops and DVD players) and single-use platforms (like portable gaming systems and GPS) with smartphones and tablets.”
- 52% plan to purchase a smartphone: This is opposed to 29% who plan on purchasing a cell phone. When you consider that 25% plan on buying an iPad and 17% a Netbook you start to see a lot of mobile users. Considering that most mobile service providers such as Verizon or AT&T encourage their customers to upgrade at least every two years you can see that smartphones will be ubiquitous very soon.
- GPS is the most valued mobile App: The two studies vary a bit but both Nielsen and Chadwick Martin Baily say that the GPS application on smartphone is THE most important to users. What does this mean to businesses, especially location based businesses? It means that if you do not have a listing on Google Places and accounts in a on location based applications such as Foursquare and Gowalla you are losing customers.
- Social Networking is the 2nd most valued mobile App: In both studies social networking applications were a close second behind the GPS App. According to Nielsen 60% of smartphone users downloaded social networking apps and this is up 30% from a year ago. Which apps are used depends a lot on the user but with Facebook dominating the US market with 53.5 million users you can bet that a lot of your customers are on Facebook.
- Use of Social Networking by people aged 55+ has more than doubled: Social networking on mobile devices is growing for all demographic groups but it is growing fastest for people over the age of 55. Do not buy into the myth that only young people use mobile social networks. Now instead of yelling at the neighbor kids to get off my lawn I’ll take a photo of them with my smartphone and post it to my Facebook page: Neighbor kids trample petunias! (see above)
80% of active internet users are on social media sites and 40% of them access those sites through their mobile phones. These numbers are only going to go up. If you have any type of business you need to have a mobile marketing plan that includes optimizing your web pages for mobile access, using location based services such as Google places and Foursquare, and utilizing tools such as QR Codes and text messaging. I would like to hear about how you are approaching mobile marketing. Tell us what you are doing in the comments section below.
Photo credit: Kamal H.
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