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Mobile Search Rising Tool for Marketers

May 17, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The “new culture of real-time information and problem solvers” identified in a new report issued the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project underscores the importance of mobile search for marketers, analysts at eMarketer concluded.

Conducted between March and April 2012, the report aimed to document some of the ways that people perform just-in-time services with their cell phones. Pew found that 41 percent of cell phone users used their device to coordinate a meeting or get-together in the last 30 days. Thirty-five percent of mobile phone owners used their phone to help resolve an unexpected problem they encountered.

Additionally, 30 percent of cell phone users used their device to decide on a business to visit in the past 30 days, while 27 percent of the 2,237 adults surveyed said they used their phone to get information to settle an argument they were having in the same time period, among other findings.

“The rapid adoption of cell phones and, especially, the spread of internet-connected smartphones are changing people’s communications with others and their relationships with information,” the report stated. “Users’ ability to access data immediately through apps and web browsers and through contact with their social networks is creating a new culture of real-time information seekers and problem solvers.”

In its analysis, eMarketer, which publishes data, analysis and insights on digital marketing, media and commerce, noted that millenials are leading this real-time information-seeking trend. The frequent texters and savvy social networkers are using their devices to coordinate plans, find information and make decisions. “It’s likely that the Gen X and Boomer generations will catch up with younger consumers, especially as smartphone penetration continues to grow among older consumers,” the market research company stated in its analysis.

eMarketer concluded that as network speeds improve and even more consumers adopt smartphones, real-time information access will become the new normal. “The shift toward immediate, ‘just-in-time’ information access means that marketers and content providers must meet demand for mobile-optimized content,” the report noted. “The trend also underscores the importance of mobile search to a marketer’s mobile strategy.”

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