What Do Adults Use Mobile for Exactly?


We know that one of the more important aspects to any type of marketing is finding out how and where to reach consumers in a chosen demographic. Mobile marketing is no exception, in that with such a wide range of mobile platforms and uses for mobile devices, it isn’t easy to pin point exactly where to place an advertisement to reach those you are trying to target. However, the Pew Internet & American Life Project, a project of the Pew Research Center, gives some insight into the main uses for mobile devices among mainly adult consumers. Their studies may not exactly be recent, conducted in January of 2012, but there’s good reason to believe that their results can still be helpful.

To begin, one writer named Aaron Smith, who is part of the project, wrote an article commenting upon adult mobile device users’ in-store mobile communication. He writes that 38% of mobile owners used their devices to contact friends while in stores for advice on product purchases. 24% used their phones to look up reviews online of products they were interested in and 25% used their phones to look up prices online to find out about better pricing elsewhere.

Another study that was part of this project pertained to mobile use during television programs, calling those who use their phones during television viewsing, “Connected Viewers.” While 38% of those asked said they used their phones only to keep occupied during television commercials, 20% used their phones to visit websites that were mentioned on television. These stats show that mobile and internet marketing and television advertising can quite successfully coincide with one another.  Overall, 52% of cell phone users that were surveyed confessed to being connected viewers.

Now, the more important thing that the Pew Internet & American Life Project brought to my attention was the amount of adult users that have started taking advantage of location-based services on mobile devices. Geolocation services have become a big part of mobile marketing, and now that more adult mobile users are starting to use location services, there could be increased success in the near future. An article on eMarketer reports the findings of Pew’s project, saying that 74% of smartphone users overall access location-based information services. “By the end of 2012, eMarketer forecasts, roughly a third of all mobile phone owners will access social networks via their phones—essentially double the number that did so two years ago—and 85% of mobile social networkers will use Facebook.” The main reason for mobile users accessing geolocation services is for social purposes.

So, mobile marketing can expect to see a big boost in location based advertising targeting adult mobile users. Pew’s information gives insight into exactly what adults are using mobile devices for, which can be a big help for mobile marketers that are trying to target them. This is good, because most mobile users are in a younger age group, making targeting adults on mobile platforms a bit more difficult. So, maybe with the information the project provides, mobile marketers can get a better idea of adult mobile usage.

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