Mobile Marketing

Marketers, Meet Today’s Mobile Consumers

September 17, 2012

It should come as no surprise that today’s consumers are mobile-obsessed. Beyond this, mobile devices have become more than fun gadgets – they have become a critical and engrained part of their everyday lives.

Adobe’s recently published Mobile Consumer Survey is evidence of this trend, citing that in 2011 alone smartphone adoption alone reached 38 percent in the United States, and is projected to grow to 48 percent in 2012. Since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, mobile has continued to gain ground by enabling consumers to fulfill their immediate needs.  In fact, 70 percent of U.S. consumers use location-based services on a regular basis.

Mobile’s rise to fame is an oft-celebrated and studied movement within marketing crowd, yet there remain many misconceptions and unknowns regarding this new territory. Below are some findings from the Adobe study that might surprise you.

1. The iPhone may be our pop culture darling, but Android owns the market. The mobile market is led by Android users – not iPhone users. According to the study, Android devices are most popular at 51 percent, followed by iPhones at 38 percent. Before developing for any platform, it’s critical to look closely at the target audience and take their specific usage habits and preference into account.

2. Adults view tablets as much more than “toys.” While 88 percent of people who own smartphones and tablets use the former as their primary device, tablet devices are the preferred way to search for and engage with content based on the larger screen. The tablet is also seen as the preferred mobile device among an older generation of consumers, and marketers should take advantage of this real estate.

3. Emerging mobile technologies are gaining momentum. The study showed that men are adopting emerging mobile technologies at a quicker pace than women, indexing higher than women when it comes to mobile wallet usage and augmented reality. Adobe also reports that more than 40 per¬cent of middle-aged adults have recently scanned a QR code, which shows that innovative mobile tactics are not isolated to just young adults. Middle-aged adults are clicking and scanning just as often as their younger counterparts.

4. Consumers are clicking through. The ad spend for mobile search and display ads is anticipated to see a compound annual growth rate of over 50 percent from 2010 to 2015 – and with good reason. Studies show that where consumers are clicking through .07 percent on a desktop, they’re clicking .61 percent on a mobile device.

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Based on this consumer behavior, brands are beginning to shift their marketing programs to account for the new mobile consumer mindset. Here are some ways for marketers to get started.

Become mobile by design. Marketers should consider mobile as a first step in their marketing and communications planning (see Solving for M: Where Mobile Fits into the Big Idea Formula). This means that the strategy itself should account for mobile consumers, in addition to the more specific activations (i.e. ensuring that landing page is mobile optimized).

Make content “findability” easy. Whether it’s for a restaurant when traveling on business or for the name of that actor you just passed on the street but can’t seem to place, mobile and search go hand in hand, so mobile site search optimization is essential. Provide the most relevant results optimized for the type of device and the consumer’s location. Further reading: Best Practices for Advertisers as Mobile Search Soars.

Optimize social campaigns for mobile consumption. According to Adobe’s report, Facebook is the dominant social network accessed by mobile (85%), followed by Twitter (35%), and then Google+ (21%).  Because of this, brands can offer mobile-optimized experiences for offers launched from Facebook fan pages or other communities. This is most important for marketers targeting younger demographics, as 91 percent of the young age group and 87 percent of the middle age group say they access social networks via mobile devices.