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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : November 17, 2009

Study: Non-voice taking over mobile

When it comes to the mobile marketplace the space is evolving faster than most marketers are ready for. According to a new report from BIA/Kelsey Group, texting, email and Internet activities are now driving mobile use; we can thank smartphones for the changes.

by Kristina Knight

For marketers, this is good news because the amount of texting, email and other online activities are all areas where marketers can target and engage the mobile consumer base. According to the study, more than 18% of mobile consumers have searched the Internet for local information (via mobile) and more than 15% have logged on to a social network such as Facebook or MySpace. Both of these activities have seen significant increases as consumers become more socially active.

Other ">interesting findings include:

• Nearly half of mobile consumers are sending 10 or more text messages weekly
• 21% are accessing the internet 10 or more times weekly
• 20% are sending/receiving 10 or more emails weekly

Steve Marshall, director of research and consulting, BIA/Kelsey said, "Not the least among these trends is that mobile is quickly developing into a viable platform for local commercial activity."

What should be most interesting to marketers are the ways consumers are engaging with the mobile ad space. Consumers are increasingly logging on to the mobile Internet to find local information - restaurant locations, local businesses, movie tickets/times. Just over 10% are searching for non-local information - product information, service information or even product reviews. Mobile consumers are also buying (4%) and using coupons (3%) from mobile phones or purchasing/watching television/video content via mobile.

"Between waves one and three of Mobile Market View, consumers have basically doubled their use of the mobile platform for non-voice communications," said Rick Ducey, chief strategy officer, BIA/Kelsey. "This represents a fundamental and rapid shift in media use, which needs to be considered in determining the appropriate mix and spending levels among local platforms. Media companies that do not currently offer a differentiated mobile advertising option had better get there quickly."

A recent report from Nielsen Online smartphones will be the leading cellular type by 2011; roughly have of the American population will be using smartphones by then according to the report. For marketers this is more good news as smartphones offer more advertising opportunities - from apps to text and actual ads - than more traditional cellular units.

Tags: BIA/Kelsey, mobile advertising, mobile email, mobile internet, mobile marketing, mobile users, non-voice, text messages

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