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Marketers need to focus on mobile impulse purchases: Compete study

September 14, 2009

How many apps?

How many apps?

Compete’s quarterly Smartphone Intelligence survey found that 30 percent of all smartphone owners are comfortable or very comfortable receiving targeted marketing on their device.

The survey also found that 73 percent of BlackBerry owners have downloaded five or fewer applications while 72 percent of iPhone users have downloaded 10 or more applications. Additionally, users primarily favor social media applications.

“Facebook is hot among iPhone owners: 71 percent of iPhone users report accessing Facebook from their mobile device, 37 percent listed Facebook as one of their top-three most-utilized apps and 18 percent claim it’s their favorite app,” said Danielle Nohe, director of telecommunications and media at Compete, Boston.

Compete is a unit of TNS Media that helps top brands such as Hyundai Motor America, Chrysler and Verizon Wireless, improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers.

Compete launched the Smartphone Intelligence survey to help marketers navigate the mobile Internet and to understand the attitudes, usage patterns and purchase drivers of smartphone owners.

The goal of the study is to give brands a competitive edge in understanding and targeting mobile consumers today and in the future.

More than 1,000 smartphone owners and 1,800 feature phone owners were surveyed. The data that was collected was organized by device manufacturer and model of device owned, as well as by carrier.

The report shows that smartphone owners agree on their favorite applications, with entertainment, games, music, social networking and weather being the most popular across platforms.

However, smartphone users differ in their use of social networking sites.

Not only are iPhone users twice as likely to use the mobile Facebook application than users of Palm devices, they are the most avid mobile social networkers on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

Despite Twitter’s growing popularity, 85 percent of smartphone users prefer to access the site from the Web.

Twenty-six percent of iPhone users tweet from their device, while 15 percent of Palm users and 10 percent of BlackBerry users use Twitter on the go.

In addition, iPhone owners are most likely to spend money on desired applications. Eighty-three percent of all smartphone users prefer applications that are priced under $5.

Ms. Nohe said the most surprising finding was the 30 percent of smartphone owners who are comfortable with receiving targeted marketing.

“Of those users, nearly half are receptive to location-based offers at restaurants — or other offers to pursue at their leisure — and 45 percent said they would use mobile grocery coupons through targeted marketing offers,” Ms. Nohe said.

“For mobile marketers, focusing on marketing for impulse purchases would be a better hook than a considered purchase,” she said. “Offers that have an instant impact appear to resonate with smartphone owners.”

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Chirs Harnick is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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