Posted February 19, 2009 12:13 pm by with 9 comments

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A recent Nielsen study suggests that mobile Internet is no longer just a luxury, it’s a necessity. “The mobile platform is becoming more and more a part of people’s lives,” said Jeff Herrmann, vice president of mobile media for Nielsen. “The primary use of these services is communication and convenience.”

The study reports that 71% of U.S. consumers plan to use some sort of mobile data service daily. I’m actually really surprised that number is so high. Even more surprising is that 29% of  non-users plan to engage mobile Internet services over the next two years.

What exactly are users using mobile Internet for?

  • 71% are using data services to connect to the Internet
  • 61% are using data services for email
  • 56% are using data services for multimedia messaging services

Social networking is also a primary driver in mobile Internet usage. With more and more users joining Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites, they are quickly turning to their mobile phones to access these services wherever they are.

As we continue to see the mobile market grow, business owners should be heavily working on marketing plans that are prepared to engage mobile audiences.

  • Dean

    Before “business owners should be heavily working on marketing plans that are prepared to engage mobile audiences” they should first decide on how relevant a mobile audience is to their business. How?

    – look at site metrics and see how much activity is coming from mobile devices vs. other sources
    – look at their business and the ‘real’ relevancy of a mobile audience has to ROI. I can assure you that for most businesses today this relevancy is low in the grand scheme of things.
    – Other priorities. What about other drivers like SEO and user experience. Before one goes charging down the Web 2.0 / Mobile path you better first make sure you don’t suck at Web 1.0.

    I come from the mobile world and can tell you that the mobile Internet while an inevitability down the road still only has pockets of necessity today. So go ahead and put it on your radar, just be prudent about it’s prioritization and fix the damn broken links on your site first 😉

  • I think mobile will be good for a lot of things, like getting quick local information..
    EG Where’s the bank, etc.

    And for quick emailing (taking the place of txting maybe).

    But for deep research, it’s got to be a desktop machine….if for no other reason than the backaches of scrunching over a little phone…

  • I think right now we are in the middle of the shift: From a luxury to a necessity. And this is due to the way that social behaviour is evolving. For example, I think that nowadays people feel that they need fresher information. They feel that that they have to post new updates and they expect people to know right away. 7 years ago we were sending forwarded e-mails to our friends with our updates, and some of them would know about them in 4-5 days, now with Twitter or facebook we are getting used to automatic updates. And with mobile devices this would be even more automatic. If the majority of people start to have this expectation of very fresh information, automatic updates, this would become a necessity.

  • It is becoming a necessity for those of us in the marketing world. But for the average user, mobile internet may always be a luxury. Even when it no longer becomes strictly a luxury, it will never be a full blown necessity for everyone.

    Mike’s last blog post..Jump The Shark – What Happened?

  • maybe is a luxury, like the same way than checking a email is not something you NEED to do, but you LIKE to do. is the same, just mobile.

  • Pingback: Internet mobile: Lusso Vs. Necessità. Da che parte state? « le aziende vanno coltivate()

  • The greatest current trend in the world of the internet is the current shift to mobile, and there is where the growth and future growth seems to be at, at present……

    Mobile internet is definitely no longer a luxury, but just wait, as it is going to become so huge that everybody with a mobile device will pretty much be connected to the internet via it too!

  • I think these high numbers are thanks in large part to the growth of social networking sites. People simply feel like they can’t be away from them for long. Because of the nature of these sites, leaving a computer for an instant can make users feel like they’re missing something – somebody might add pictures, change their status or declare something drastic on a social networking site, and because it happens in real time and without warning, this creates a sense of urgency that causes people to check these sites often. Also, Twitter’s question “What are you doing?” casts itself to a medium that should be constantly monitored.

    Rachel Burkot’s last blog post..Pick Your Processor: PayPal Isn’t The Only Third-Party Option

  • Scott Talbott

    How do I sign up to receive selevtive Marketing pilgrim emails and not the comprehensive RSS feed option?