Survey: Growing Opportunities for Mobile Advertising

Survey: Growing Opportunities for Mobile Advertising

More than four out of five U.S. adults (85%) own a mobile phone, compared with seven in ten (71%) who have a landline or home phone – and nearly two-thirds of mobile phone owners (63%) agreed that their phone is very personal to them, according to a poll conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Ingenio.

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Less than a third of mobile phone owners (30%) recall seeing or hearing an advertisement on their mobile phone in the past year, suggesting that a dominant advertising model to reach the growing demographic of mobile phone users has yet to emerge, Ingenio said.

Ad-related findings:

  • Regarding the kind of mobile ads they find acceptable, respondents were most favorably disposed toward sponsored text links that appear as a result of internet searches (26%).
  • Close behind were audio ads that play instead of ringing when waiting for someone to answer a call (21%), and a text message from a company (20%).
  • Among those who have ever called 411 from their mobile phones, commercial (74%) and restaurant (72%) phone and address listings are the most frequently sought-after types of information.
  • When asked about their current and anticipated cell phone use, about half of mobile phone owners (49%) said they are already using their phones for more than just calls, including sending and receiving text messages (36%), and taking, sending and receiving photos (24%).

“An inherent difference between the mobile and PC environments is that mobile searchers want to find information and then immediately act on it,” said Marc Barach, chief marketing officer, Ingenio. “The mobile environment lets advertisers reach consumers at the point of decision, and an advertising model that connects the two when intent is at its highest will do for mobile what clicks did for the web.”

Demographics-related findings:

  • Younger adults are significantly more likely than their older counterparts to own a mobile phone than a landline: among those 18-34, 89% own a cell phone or smart phone, but only 57% have a landline.
  • Younger mobile phone owners are considerably more likely to use their phones for more than just phone calls (74% of adults ages 18-34 versus 20% of those ages 55 and up)
  • Men are more likely than women to use their phones to check email, access the internet for something other than search and download, and find information using a search engine.
  • More than half of mobile phone owners (57%) anticipate using their phones for more than just making and receiving phone calls over the next three years
  • Younger mobile phone owners more likely than their older counterparts (75% of those ages 18-34 versus 33% of those ages 55 and up) to say so.

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According to the study, cell phone users are demonstrating unique attitudes and behaviors toward their cell phones, including a feeling of a personal connection with their cell phones; adoption of mobile services outside of calling; a predilection for text vs. email; a movement from landlines to cell phones; and openness to mobile advertising.

Additional findings from the study:

  • In addition to 63% of mobile phone users who agree that their phones are very personal to them, 44% also say their phones have strengthened their personal relationships.
  • Women are more likely than men to say so – 66% vs. 60%
  • Younger mobile phone owners are especially likely to feel that their phones have strengthened their personal relationships – 60% of those 18-34 vs. 37% of those ages 35+.
  • Women are more likely than men to admit that when their mobile phone rings they drop everything to answer it – 39% vs. 33% men.
  • Men, on the other hand, are more likely than women to agree that their phones have made them too accessible – 55% vs. 50%.
  • Women are more likely than men to now use their phones to send or receive text messages (38% vs. 33%), and to take/send/receive photos (27% vs. 21%).
  • Men are more likely than women to use their phones to check email (12% vs. 7%), access the Internet for something other than search and download (11% vs. 5%), and find information using an internet search engine (9% vs. 6%).

About the study: This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Ingenio, Inc. between March 29 and April 2, 2007 among 4,123 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for region, age within gender, education, household income and race/ethnicity were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.