Measuring Mobile Phone Use in Web Marketing

The Nielsen Company’s 2010 Media Industry Fact Sheet estimates that, of the more than 223 million U.S. mobile phone users over the age of 13, 16.7 million already access the web via cell networks. webtrends even projects that the number of mobile Internet users will exceed that of desktop Internet users by 2014.

The shift of users from feature phone to smartphone has been stunningly fast. By the first quarter of 2011, 54 percent of all new mobile phones sold were smartphones, with Nielsen predicting that half of all American mobile phone owners would have smartphones by Christmas 2011. The market share of smartphone operating systems is shown in the following illustration.

Generally speaking, the Apple market share is increasing, the BlackBerry share is decreasing, and Android phones are more popular than the iPhone among most recent buyers.

Market share for smartphones by operating system as of July 2011. [Credit: Source: Nielsen]
Credit: Source: Nielsen
Market share for smartphones by operating system as of July 2011.

Market share for smartphones, a highly competitive measurement, changes often. Check current statistics before you make a decision about targeting particular users.

About 55 percent of smartphone users are male, and 45 percent female, with the highest usage level by those younger than 50. Not surprisingly, smartphone ownership skews toward higher-income users, but that situation will change as prices decrease.

The Nielsen report shows that the smartphone user population is more diverse overall than the cellphone user population. Minorities comprise 35 percent of smartphone users, compared to 21 percent of feature phone users. Think about it: Smartphones are a comparatively inexpensive bridge across the digital divide.

The MacCallum House Inn and Restaurant in Mendocino, California, takes advantage of mobile marketing to reach tech-savvy travelers.

The primary website for MacCallum House. [Credit: Courtesy of www.maccallumhouse.com & www.hoim
Credit: Courtesy of www.maccallumhouse.com & www.hoimoonmarketing.com
The primary website for MacCallum House.

Viewers can tap any item on the main menu (shown in the following illustration on the left) to open a secondary page, such as one that lets them make reservations (shown in the following illustration on the right).

The primary MacCallum House website, pared for mobile use. [Credit: Courtesy of www.maccallumhouse.
Credit: Courtesy of www.maccallumhouse.com & www.hoimoonmarketing.com
The primary MacCallum House website, pared for mobile use.
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