Mobile Marketing: 56 MUST Have Facts [Data Included]

23 Mobile Market Research Charts

Mobile marketing is on three out four marketer’s plans for 2011 according to Forrester Research. Unlike other forms of digital marketing, mobile marketing involves a layer of complexity due to the difference in platforms and devices. To help you understand this evolving marketplace, here are 56 mobile marketing facts including 23 charts. Each point is based on market research and can guide your marketing plans.

To facilitate use of this information, it’s broken into the following categories: mobile marketplace, mobile marketing, mobile social media, mobile apps, mobile advertising, SMS/text messaging, mobile commerce and location-based services (LBS). If you’re interested in mobile marketing, there’s something here for you.

Mobile Marketplace

  1. Mobile is ramping up faster than other technologies. Mary Meeker predicts that 2012 will be the smartphone inflection point.
  2. About 30% of US mobile users have a smartphone in 2010 according to Nielsen.
  3. Smartphones will grow by about one third to 43% of mobile users by 2015 according to eMarketer.
  4. US smartphone operating systems are in a tight competition. The top three systems are: Apple/iPhone with a 27.9% share, RIM/Blackberry with a 27.4% share and Android with a 22.7% share, based on The Nielsen Company data. It will be interesting to watch how well the iPhone fares on Verizon’s system and if it effects other Verizon customers.
  5. Blackberry’s desirability pales compared to iPhone and Android for next operating system choice among smartphone owners, The Nielsen Company survey showed. Note: Blackberries are popular among corporate users and teens. US Smartphone Owners Next Operating System
  6. Women are more likely to get an iPhone while men are more likely to get an Android according to The Nielsen Company.
  7. 2011 is projected to be the tipping point for U.S. smartphones according to forecasts by The Nielsen Company.
  8. Smartphone carrier loyalty as measured by The Nielsen Company over the last six months showed that a surprising 77.2% of customers stayed with the same carrier. This underscores the need to lock in new customers.
  9. How fast IS your cellphone? Four out of five The Nielsen Company survey respondents were familiar with 4G (which is mobile data speeds of more than 100 MBits/s) but only half of them knew what it meant.
  10. Seven out ten consumers are planning to get 4G service in the next twelve months The Nielsen Company survey found.
  11. Voice usage dominates work hours and apps dominate after work hours according to Zokem via ReadWriteWeb.

Mobile Marketing

  1. 75% of marketers are planning to add mobile to their marketing mix according to Forrester Research. It’s important to note that this may not be advertising related.
  2. The biggest categories of non-data usage for mobile phones are photographs and text messages according to Pew Research. This is important to consider when thinking about how mobile phone owners spend their time.
  3. How mobile phone users spend their time is becoming more important. Current usage is still dominated by email according to The Nielsen Company.

Mobile Social Media

  1. Social media usage on mobile devices continues to grow with 49.4million users projected in 2011; a 27% increase from 2010 according to eMarketer.
  2. Social media network usage on mobile internet and mobile phones continues to increase as a percentage of users. This is attributable to the fact that participants view social media as a communications format

Mobile Apps – It’s not just Apple anymore!

  1. 69% of U.S. smartphone owners had downloaded a mobile app as of October 2010 based on and Harris Interactive research.
  2. The average number of downloads per smart phone downloader is 27 according to The Nielsen Company.
  3. The U.S. mobile app sweet spot is the 35-44 year-old age group, according to and Harris Interactive research.
  4. Smartphone users with income above $75,000 were more likely to download mobile apps according to the and Harris Interactive research.
  5. The top ten app categories for 2010’s fourth quarter based on page views were games, social networking, music and entertainment, mail/messaging, education/employment, weather, sports, maps, news/current events, and travel, according to Millennial Media.
  6. We won’t pay or will we? Apps continue to grow, free apps grow faster according to Distimo.
  7. Over 3 million downloads each day during December 2010 were generated by the top 300 free apps in U.S. while  350,000 paid apps were downloaded daily.
  8. Paid U.S. app downloads in December 2010 were 30% higher than June 2010 which shows that consumers are willing to pay for mobile apps (Distimo).
  9. Three different app payment options have emerged: paid app, free app with in-app purchases and paid app with in-app purchases according to Distimo.
  10. Average mobile app price has decreased since January 2010 according to Distimo.
  11. Total global mobile applications market is projected by the World Mobile Applications Market (2010 – 2015) research to be worth $25.0 billion by 2015.
  12. Apple’s App Store will account for about one in five dollars of the total global mobile applications market in 2015 according to World Mobile Applications Market (2010 – 2015).
  13. The global mobile applications market is expected have a CAGR of 29.6% from 2009 to 2014, the World Mobile Applications Market (2010 – 2015) calculates.

Mobile Advertising

  1. The mobile advertising market is sufficiently mature that IAB and Mobile Marketing Association has announced Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines.
  2. The U.S. is the second largest mobile advertising spending market globally after Japan, according to Smaato
  3. With a 2011 forecast of $1,24 billion growing to $5 billion in 2015, U.S. will close the gap according to Smaato.
  4. Average U.S. mobile advertising campaign range is $75,000 – $100,000 according to Smaato.
  5. The creative spend on U.S. mobile advertising campaigns averages 10-15% of the budget according to Smaato.
  6. Marketers use or plan to use a variety of mobile marketing techniques in 2010 and 2011. Most striking is the fact that less than half of them have a mobile website according to Forrester Research via eMarketer.
  7. Still searching for you on the go. US Mobile advertising market breaks out as follows: 46% search, 29% display/banner advertising, 20% SMS/text opt-in messaging, 3% mobile games and video and 2% apps according to mobileSquared via Smaato (October 2010).
  8. One-sixth of US mobile users have engaged with some form of advertising on their mobile phone based on Lightspeed Research for mobileSquared via Smaato. With anticipated growth of US mobile market, this translates to more users who will interact with mobile advertising.  
  9. Mobile ads are more effective across brand metrics based on Insight Express research. Bear in mind that this can be attributed to the medium’s newness.
  10. The top five mobile video stations are YouTube, Fox, Comedy Central, ESPN and MTV according to The Nielsen Company. These stations reflect the high usage by the teen and twenty-something demographic. Further, it shows that users are looking for entertainment, sports and news.
  11. U.S. Mobile local advertising market is expected to grow to about $2.0 billion by 2014 according to BIA/Kelsey.

SMS/Text Messaging

  1. 66% of U.S. mobile phone owners send SMS/text messages according to The Nielsen Company.
  2. Women send more text messages per month (716) than men do (555) based onThe Nielsen Company tracking.

Mobile Commerce

  1. One in three mobile phone owners accessed a retailer site or mobile shopping app based on research by ForeSee.
  2. 26% of mobile phone owners who haven’t accessed a retailer site or mobile shopping app, plan to according to ForeSee. This means that retailers must be on mobile platform or risk loosing opportunity.
  3. 73% of survey respondents favored using their smartphone to handle simple in-store tasks compared to 15% of survey respondents who preferred to interact with an employee, according to Accenture research done in ten countries (Note: This information doesn’t state which countries where surveyed.)
  4. One in nine shoppers (11%) bought something using a mobile device during 2010’s holiday shopping season, up from 2% in 2010 according to  ForeSee.
  5. How’s your mobile website experience? Shoppers preferred computer experience to mobile experience based on ForeSee‘s survey results.
  6. Almost seven out of ten shoppers check the store’s website while they’re in the retail establishment! (ForeSee)
  7. Shoppers use mobile websites to check for price comparisons (56%), product comparisons (46%), product information (35%) and product reviews (27%) based on ForeSee’s research.
  8. The competition is just a click away even when customer is physically in your store! Almost half (46%) of shoppers checked competitors’ website using a mobile device while in bricks and mortar stores, ForeSee found.
  9. Mobile commerce is approaching the same level of sales as online retail, based on Mary Meeker‘s projections.
  10. One out of three customers are interested in mobile loyalty program from trusted brands, based on Zoomerang’s October 2010 research for HipCricket. Of these shoppers, 90% received value from the program revealing potential marketing opportunity.
  11. 46% of those surveyed expressed willingness to use mobile coupons according to  Zoomerang’s October 2010 research for HipCricket.  More than double the amount from last year.

Location-based services (aka LBS) – Where are you now?

  1. Location-based service users increased roughly 200% in 2010, based on SNL Kagan.
  2. Location-based services are made for smartphone usage. This is shown by the drop in Internet usage on both Foursquare and Gowalla according to Compete.
  3. Location-based services as an advertising platform is still evolving as evidenced by the fact that less than half of advertisers have included it in their plans.

With smartphone usage projected to reach 50% in 2011, it’s time to consider how you’re going to incorporate mobile into your overall marketing mix. One thing is certain, whether you’re an online or offline organization, you need a mobile destination with supporting mobile search advertising, otherwise, you’re leaving an opportunity on the table. The reality is that consumers use smartphones to gather information about their purchase alternatives while they’re in a retail establishment. If you’re not present when they use their phone to search, they may leave and buy from your competitor.

If you have additional mobile research, please add it in the comments below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Note: iPads, tablets, iTouch, e-Readers, game consoles and other devices weren’t included in this Marketing Research Roundup.

Related resources of interest:

Photo credit: Me and the Sysop via Flickr

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23 Responses to Mobile Marketing: 56 MUST Have Facts [Data Included]

  1. According to the increase in mobile development industry, there’s still much to use in mobile sector. Or, to say it simply, mobile marketing is just a must-have right now and in the near future.

  2. Heidi,

    In 2010, Neilsen predicted the smart phone inflection point would be 2015, but last week (2012) smart phone penetration reached over 49%, meaning their 5 year prediction was cut to  mere two. Amazing how technology expotentially increases.

  3. GoMobile says:

    Great article. Very useful. Good work.
    People are having internet content diversely and mobile marketing stands to get maximum from this tendency. Essentially marketing is all about positioning yourself in from of your respective target market so when more people tend to be moving to smart phones they’ve also been using their smart phones to go looking the internet. As an issue of fact only a % of smart phone usage is designed for making phone phone calls any more which is also a trend that can expand. The goal of your article is to help highlight some awesome internet statistics and then determine how they tie in to the growth of cell marketing.

  4. Algis says:

    Excellent information reference, everything about mobile: market, marketing, advertising and more. Thanks a lot.

  5. This is a superb article. Thank you so much for all of the work that went into this. I do plan to share the article on FB.

  6. Ethan says:

    Very impressive research here. We need more of those! Thanks!

  7. Great stuff! Thanks for pulling it all together and sharing.

  8. maggie says:

    Great info…….curious is 2011 is the tipping point for smart phones and in the graph it shows a downfall what is the next technology of where this is going??

  9. Heidi: This is a great article and a phenomenal summary of all stats available online. Thanks for posting this.

  10. Robert McCutcheon says:

    Thanks so much for synthesizing all of this Heidi!

  11. Kurt says:

    Thanks so much for posting these research resources, Heidi. I’m teaching a mobile marketing segment in one of my courses right now and this data is very useful.

  12. Farid Assaad says:

    I wouldn’t add something new more than everyone said.

    It’s true that the figures are available everywhere, but the way you’ve done your research, Heidi, the synthesis and the presentation, have done it easily to be read and digested.

    Thanks in advance if you add me to your emailing list for future researchs and similar synthesis.

    F. Assaad
    AnimApp Canada
    Spark Platform Solutions

  13. Heidi, this is great collection, thank you for putting this together and sharing.

    There is a research piece put out by Forbes Insights and Google that is focused on business executives, with some great data points, including 82% have a smartphone, roughly 1/4 *prefer* to read email on a mobile device and 12% consider the smartphone to be their primary device, ahead of desktops, laptops and tablets.

    Here is a link to the PDF:

    — @wittlake

    • Heidi Cohen says:

      Eric–I appreciate your sharing this research. It’s not surprising given the research by Ipsos in fall 2010 that showed how people consume content on the go. It’s also confirmed by Nielsen’s research that showed that consumers spent more time with email on mobile devices (compared to social media on Internet computers). Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  14. Great job Heidi! I expect nothing but greatness from a former Columbia House employee.

    Thanks for including the sources for your research. Many people overlook this important process.

    (Columbia House Video Library 1990 – 1995)

  15. Murat says:

    Great round up! I’ve also put together around 60 mobile stats here

    • Heidi Cohen says:


      Thank you for stopping by and adding to the conversation. It’s important to note that your list is a year old which is a LONG time in a quickly evolving market like mobile. Due to the growth in the market and increased amount of actual sales and activity, forecasts and projections will change significantly.

      Happy marketing,
      Heidi Cohen

  16. Joseph Ruiz says:

    Heidi, as usual a treasure trove of information. We were just talking about this in the #imcchat last night. Thanks for sharing, nicely aggregated and curated! 😉 But i digress.
    Have a great day.

  17. Dave says:


    Excellent! And details to back it up even (so rare, unfortunately).