Mobile usage isn’t the same for all in the US.

In a recent study published on eMarketer, it seems that the mobile usage in the United States isn’t as high as you might imagine it to be. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), in 2007 only 15% of all households were wireless or mobile-only – with the adults constituting 13.7% of the population. Think that’s shocking? Well the study continues to state that the highest adoption of being wireless occurs in the midwest, south, and southwest while the lowest usage comes from California, Nevada, Hawaii, Alaska, and a few scattered states in the Northeast.

State by state mobile usage

So what does this mean for you as a marketer? Well I would not put all my eggs into one basket, that’s for sure. Yes, there is some room for growth in the mobile marketing industry, especially with new smartphones like the iPhone, Blackberry, Palm, etc., but most people are not ready to give up their laptops or stationary computers just to be on the go so instead of converting to a mobile campaign, remember that you’ll need to have a version of your campaign that is accessible to all parties – that means sticking with the traditional web campaign of having a microsite or website available with all the information.

But that’s not to say that you should boycott mobile. As you can see from the chart, the numbers are for those households who have switched entirely to a wireless/mobile-only environment. There is tempation to go ahead and develop a mobile campaign that you can develop alongside a typical web marketing campaign because there is a greater percentage of people in the US that are using both a computer and a mobile device to receive their information. Take advantage and create something that will appeal to both audiences.

The key here is to tie everything together. Don’t have different elements of a campaign operate in a vaccuum or in their own silos. By that I mean that your email marketing call-to-action should link back to the website and the website should have a link to the mobile version which is accessible on cell phones and other portable devices. And if your mobile campaign has a application available for download on sites like with Apple, then you should make sure that it links back to the website or other accessible areas that you can constantly post updated information.

Yes, the mobile industry is growing and from this report, while there is a low adoption, it seems that it may gradually increase as more technology is developed to make the wireless experience something worth desiring. Just don’t bank all your money on the mobile scene quite yet.  Remember, not everyone will quickly jump onto this mobile marketing thing just because they have an smartphone now. Patience is key.

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