Mobile Phone Use Is Up, Interest in Mobile Marketing Isn’t Down

November 20, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Hispanic | Retail & E-Commerce

The importance of mobile phones continues to increase among all age groups – as usage of features and applications related to mobile marketing (such as text-messaging) become more mainstream, according to the third-annual Mobile Attitude and Usage Study by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA).

Wireless usage increased significantly from 2006 to 2007. Almost eight in ten adults now use a wireless phone, as do six in ten teens, the study found:

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The study’s intent is to help brands and marketers identify key market trends, mobile subscriber usage patterns, and success metrics for mobile marketing in the United States, the MMA said.

Among the study’s key findings:

  • Interest in mobile marketing remains as high as in the previous two surveys. One in four respondents in the 2007 survey expressed interest in mobile marketing.

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  • The number of consumers who have experienced mobile marketing continues to grow. One out of 20 respondents had participated in mobile marketing. The highest participation is among respondents age 25-44.

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  • Sweepstakes and voting campaigns are the types of mobile marketing most participated in. The second most common type is receiving alerts about products, services, and accounts. Some 10% of participants have used their mobile phones to receive and redeem coupons – the least common.

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  • Ethnic groups are key audiences for mobile marketing. For example, African-Americans and English-dominant Hispanics indicate stronger interest in mobile marketing than Caucasians.
  • Teens and young adults use text messaging more than any other demographic. People ages 13-24 send and receive the most messages – more than 50 per week – while half of all survey respondents use text messaging at least once a week.

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Additional findings:

  • 54% of 13-34 year olds use SMS for social networking; 44% of 13-34 year olds say they use text-messaging for flirting or dating, and 10% of 13-34 year olds said they have broken up with a boy or girl friend using text-messaging.
  • Some 58% (up from 35% in 2006) of consumers now say they use their mobile’s camera phone feature.

The increased use of camera phones “dovetails perfectly with the coming cross-carrier interoperability of picture messaging via a short code. We expect to see some very innovative campaigns this coming year using picture phoning,” said Gene Keenan, vice-president mobile strategies for Isobar.

About the study: The 2007 study, conducted by Synovate, consisted of 1,405 online interviews using a nationally representative consumer online panel of over 1.5 million households. The sampling plan for the main study sample was identical to the 2005 and 2006 survey waves, in order to ensure maximum compatibility between studies and allow for accurate trending. In addition to the main study sample, the 2006 and 2007 surveys included a booster sample of African-American and Hispanic interviews (18+ years of age).

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