Mobile Advertising Acceptance/​Usefulness Varies by Age Group

As smart phone usage continues to rise – the penetration rate  is now at 30% — marketers are looking for the best way to reach consumers who are spending more time connecting with information on the go. Ad spending in this sector is expected to reach nearly $593 million in 2010.  And according to eMarketer,  ad revenue  is projected to grow through 2013 as follows:

  • 2011 $830 million
  • 2012 $1.140 billion
  • 2013 $1.560 billion

In 2010, over 48% of mobile ad revenue or $284.6 million will be messaging-​based. Display will account for 28% of mobile ad revenue and search comprises the balance at 24%.  By 2013, messaging will make up 28% of total mobile advertising, while display will grow to 35% and search will surge to 37% of the sector.

Currently, the usefulness of specific types of mobile advertising varies by age group. Here are the individual mobile ad types that each age group finds most useful:

  • Text messages sent from businesses without my permission: Ages 18–24
  • Text messages with coupons/​special offers: Ages 25–34
  • Ads for businesses located nearby: Ages 35–49
  • Text messages for sales/​promotions: Age 50+

The importance of mobile phones still varies markedly by age group. eMarketer surveys indicate the following when consumers say that their mobile phone is their primary means of making calls:

  • Ages 18–24: Over 75%
  • Ages 25–34: Over 65%
  • Ages 35–49: Over 55%
  • Ages 50+: About 30%

As smart phone use rates trend up, savvy marketers can increase sales by targeting mobile promotion types to the specific age groups that deem them most useful.

[Source: The 2010 Digital Marketer. Benchmark and Trend Report. Experian Marketing Services. n.d. Web. 22 Mar 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.