Outsell: Media should explore ‘mobile marketing services’ in age of iPad, smartphones

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Anthea Stratigos, CEO of analyst firm Outsell, believes that companies will use the mobile Web in much the same way they’re using the Internet: to market as directly as possible to their customers and prospects.

During a speech at the American Magazine Conference earlier this week, Stratigos unveiled an Outsell survey on how consumers, advertisers and magazine publishers are using tablets and smartphones. Among her conclusions was that magazine publishers should consider offering “mobile marketing services” in much the same way that media companies are increasingly offering marketing services to their advertiser base.

“Our research is telling us it’s very early days,” Stratigos said, adding that the early returns show that a majority of marketers is trying to reach users of BlackBerrys, iPads and other mobile devices with direct messages.

The survey found that 57% of marketers went directly to consumers with their mobile advertising. Another 23% used networks and exchanges to carry their advertising. Just 21% placed mobile advertising with publishing brands.

Stratigos said Outsell saw the same thing happen with the Internet, as marketers have spent billions producing content that is placed on their websites.

The study was based on an online survey this summer of about 400 consumers, 200 advertisers and 50 publishers. It found that consumers who have tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices often use them for work (presenting opportunities for b-to-b marketers), are affluent and can’t get enough of their devices. “It’s like their hand, their third arm,” Stratigos said. “It’s an extra appendage.”

Consumers who have a smartphone said they spent on average more than 25% of their waking hours interacting with the device, although the amount of hours per day varied by brand: Android (5.3 hours), BlackBerry (4.6 hours) and iPhone (4.5 hours).

Respondents said they used their tablets comparatively less often than smartphones on average. IPad users said they used the device about 2.6 hours per day, while eReader users said they interacted with that device 1.9 hours.

Consumers plan to buy more of these devices. For instance, Outsell found that 24% of those surveyed plan to buy an iPad.

Plenty of other evidence from the survey indicates that mobile device users rely on these tools for information. They have an average of 30.9 apps on their devices, 5.2 of which they use daily and 8.7 weekly. (On the downside, they seldom if ever use the 17 other apps they have).

While the Outsell study found that consumers interact with their mobile devices constantly, advertisers have yet to catch up. The survey said 56% of marketers responding were currently doing no mobile app or browser advertising.

Many advertisers were at least starting to make a move: 17% said they were considering it; 9% said they were in planning and development stages; 9% said it had become mainstream and integrated into their marketing; 6% were experimenting; and 3% said it was their dominant focus.

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