Smartphone Owners: A Ready and Willing Audience

Compete will be at CTIA Wireless 2010 and is emceeing the Mobile Marketing & Advertising special session for agencies and brands to learn more about the burgeoning mobile channel on March 22nd. If you would like to set up a meeting with Compete during the show, please email Danielle Nohe at dnohe@compete.com.

Years ago, when smartphones were introduced to the market, they were promoted as devices to help the busy, on-the-go, business professional.  It was a tool primarily made available to access one’s email, calendar and contacts when away from the desk or travelling. Today, that is far from the case – they are integrated into the daily lives of all types of consumers, and Compete is tracking that changing behavior.

The good news for brands trying to market through the mobile device starts with the amount of time people are spending on their devices throughout the day.  For starters, consumers’ primary usage of their smartphones is for reasons of personal productivity and entertainment. In fact, when asked how much time is spent on personal use (with the remaining being on business) 74% of smartphone owners indicated they are using their device primarily for personal reasons.  However, we wanted to further break out usage, so we asked smartphone owners how much time is spent on their smartphone at various times of the day. Below we can look at when, throughout the day, the device is getting the most attention.

It is clear that smartphones are being used at nearly all points of the day, from the morning train ride into the city, to the waiting room at the doctor’s office, to texting with friends at night while trying to understand that week’s episode of Lost.  With the device never being more than an arm’s reach away, brands and advertisers are taking notice and using this mobile medium to relay all types of information.

So while smartphone owners may be always available, the concern is how receptive these consumers might be to mobile advertising.  To find out, we asked smartphone owners how interested they were in receiving various types of mobile advertising.

Looking at top 2 box results (those selecting a 4 or 5), we saw consumers were most interested in receiving grocery coupons (36%), scanable barcodes (29%), offers to save and pursue at leisure (26%), movie theater offers (26%), and ads via SMS when going by a retailer with a promotion / coupon (21%).

The fact that over 1 in 5 smartphone owners would be interested in these top-5 is very promising for the mobile marketing industry, considering that it is still in its early stages.  Brands need to focus on engaging and driving behavior of these “early adopters” in order to help bring these concepts to mass market.