While the media can’t stop talking about the greatness of the iPhone (and indeed many of my friends just can’t stop themselves from explaining to me in minute detail about the mobile that has ‘changed their life’) most people (60%) of UK mobile users claim they don’t have a mobile with internet access and just 30% are interested in owning one. The majority (76%) who have a mobile phone with internet don’t use the service.
While marketers are busy selling us the great idea of internet ‘on the go’ most are failing to understand what would motivate
mobile phone owners to ‘log-on’ on their phones.
Alex Charlton, partner at Essential Research has set marketers a challenge: “to promote mobile internet without referring to it as the internet or web.”
At the moment the majority of marketers are guilty of promoting Facebook and Twitter ‘on the go’ when in fact non-internet mobile users are most interested in things like maps and real-time travel updates.
Interestingly 31% of current non-internet mobile uses are keen to see in-store offers, coupons and vouchers via their mobile which indicates there’s a great potential for mobile marketing.
My favourite part of the research briefing was a video diary from 70-year-old who was given an iPhone as part of the ethnographic stage of the research. At first he struggled to switch on his phone but once he discovered the entire works of Shakespeare could be downloaded for free on the iPhone for free he was a convert.
Instead of mobile internet being used by ‘early adopters’ it could be made appealing to a wider demographic opening up this medium for brands and retailers who want to appeal to wide range of people. Surely thinking about the masses and not the niche is the way forward with mobile internet.
The Essential Research blog on its research can be found here