Mobile – Where Your Future Customers Are

Teens Texting Their Fingers to the Bone

It’s no secret that mobile communications and mobile/social integration are the next big frontiers when it comes to the worlds of technology and marketing. Wait – that’s a misstatement – they’re not next, they are NOW.

We talk a lot about the mobile web and how critical it is for businesses to understand the need for an easy-to-view, easy-to-use mobile site or a mobile optimized version of their corporate website. But why does that matter?

Let’s look at smartphone ownership and see what’s happening:

Edison research reports in “The Infinite Dial 2011” that smartphone ownership has doubled year after year to nearly one-third of Americans. In fact, smartphone ownership has tripled in a span of just two years. And, not surprisingly, many of those smartphone owners are teens.

A quick look at some stats relative to teens:

  • 33% of 12-17 year olds own a smartphone today.
  • 60% of teens could own smartphones by 2012 if current trends continue
  • Texting is a more important means of communication than ever among teens (and even older young people), than ever before. On average, a teen girl sends in excess of 4,000 text messages every month.
  • 43% of teens today report that the main reason for owning a smartphone is the ability to text.
  • 94% of teens surveyed reported that they use their phones to surf the Internet, message and use multimedia, gaming or apps.

Expanding that group a bit, Edison’s research shows that for 12-34 year olds, 62% report that the Internet is the most essential medium to their lives. Let me confess right now – I’m no spring chicken (clearly) and the Internet is the most essential medium in MY life, too. What about you?

This graph shows that the number of smartphone owners are on the rise – across every age group. As someone who just bought my 74 year old mother-in-law an iPhone, I’d have to agree. Vehemently.

Smartphone Ownership Stats

It wasn’t surprising at all to see that research indicates that nearly 6 in 10 smartphone owners report that they would give up TV before giving up their smartphones. I predict that number will only increase in the next year or two.

Digital Platform Landscape - Smartphone Owners

Back to teens. Today’s teens wield incredible buying power. Combine overwhelming smartphone usage and an addiction to mobile technology with buying power that’s being easily delivered via mobile wallet applications like Square and you’ve got a consumer base that’s active, engaged, online and using their mobile phones for just about everything.

No matter what you sell, and no matter your target audience, if that’s not impacting the way you’re thinking about mobile and mobile and social integration into your marketing strategies – well, good luck.

What say you?

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