How Mobile Is Your Audience?

Recently, a plane’s malfunction stranded me overnight in Denver. Since it was just before a holiday weekend, the airline’s customer service representative let me know hotel rooms were scarce. I was on my own for the next 15 hours.

Sleeping at the airport largeWhat to do? Fortunately, my smartphone allowed me to search online offerings and I managed to find accommodations.

That experience made me grateful for the convenience a smartphone offers. In my case, it helped prevent an uncomfortable night’s sleep.

Communicators consider
A creative mobile approach now factors into the way many PR and marketing professionals are reaching their audiences. So when I saw a recent study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project on smartphones, it caught my attention.

In reading the report, I learned 25 percent of users say they are primarily using a smartphone instead of a computer for accessing the Internet. Although the majority of these users do have access to a computer, about one third lack a high-speed home broadband connection.

“For businesses, government agencies and nonprofits who want to engage with certain communities, they will find them in front of a four-inch screen, not in front of a big computer in their den,” Aaron Smith, the report’s author, told the Washington Post.

Who is mobile?
The Pew study, which included 2,277 adult Internet users age 18 and older, found that 83 percent have a cell phone, with 42 percent of those phones categorized as smartphones. That means 35 percent of all adults have smartphones.

Of these American smartphone owners:

  • 59 percent live in a household earning income of $75,000 or more per year.
  • 48 percent have a college degree.
  • 44 percent are African-American and Latino.

Those under age 45 have higher than average levels of smartphone adoption:

  • 58 percent are between the ages of 25 and 34.
  • 44 percent are between 35 and 44.
  • 49 percent of owners are between 18 and 24.

Growth of apps
To meet demand from the fast-growing number of smartphone users, apps are also proliferating. Market research firm IDC projects that the number of app downloads will grow from 10.9 billion in 2010 to 76.9 billion in 2014.

Does your target audience have you thinking about integrating a mobile approach into your strategic communications planning?

Thanks Rolling Oakie for the great airport photo via Flickr.


About creativeconsiderations

Christine Sullivan is a communications strategist with expertise in communications planning, writing and content development, and executive communications. She can be reached at
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2 Responses to How Mobile Is Your Audience?

  1. i dont think my audience is very mobile at all….

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