Mobile 411 Users on the Go and Ready to Buy

February 5, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Out-of-Home | Retail & E-Commerce

Mobile directory assistance (DA) users are consumers on the go who expect and want accurate results immediately – and tend to have an intent to buy, constituting an important subset of mobile audiences for marketers, according to a nationwide survey by V-ENABLE.

The study analyzed mobile-411 users’ behavior, needs and expectations; it was conducted by Local Mobile Search (LMS), an Opus Research advisory service.

“As advertising spreads to mobile devices, 411 becomes an attractive way to reach consumers,” said V-ENABLE EVP and CMO Craig Hagopian.

Survey respondents were asked to give their top two reasons for using DA:


  • 40.1% said they wanted to inquire about a business product or service.
  • Inquiring about business hours and business location accounted for 40.1% and 48.9%, respectively.

“It’s clear from the data that users of directory assistance are some of the most qualified buyers out there,” said Greg Sterling, Program Director of LMS, “and directory assistance has emerged as the mass-market entry point for mobile search.”

Among other findings of the study:


  • A full 66.9% of consumers who use mobile DA do so while in the car, validating the observation that DA is a gateway to mobile commerce, according to V-ENABLE.


  • Though billions of 411 calls are made annually, consumers for the most part are unaware of the charges associated with 411 calls:
    • More than 50% of the respondents underestimated the actual cost of mobile directory assistance charges; of that group, almost 19% thought it was free.
    • Another 18% didn’t know the cost at all.
    • Overall, roughly 70% were wrong when citing the cost of actual fees.

In addition, many people are unaware of free 411 options; roughly three-fourths of mobile DA users have not used a free alternatives to date.

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