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eMarketer: Women More Likely to Go Mobile-Only for Social Activities

Women More Likely to Go Mobile-Only for Social Activities

Relevance to mobile ads important for both genders

eMarketer estimates that by the end of this year there will be nearly 116 million smartphone users in the US, as well as nearly 55 million tablet users. And in many cases, smartphone and tablet owners have made their mobile or portable devices their primary venue for computing—especially for less-intensive tasks like web browsing and communication.

June research from Prosper Mobile Insights indicates that there are some substantial differences between men and women in the US when it comes to choosing mobile-only for certain activities. The greatest differences were in usage of email, Facebook, online shopping and internet search, with sizeable differences in Twitter and Pinterest usage as well.

According to the study, women with a smartphone or tablet were more likely to restrict activities like social networking and emailing to a mobile device, leaving the desktop or laptop PC for other uses. Men, by contrast, were more likely to use IM and online banking exclusively on a mobile device.

These differences don’t, however, seem to lead to differences in how men and women perceive mobile advertising. Respondents in both groups reported similar levels of attention given to several types of mobile ads, though women were somewhat less likely to ever pay attention to video, banner or pop-up ads.

Frequency with Which US Smartphone/Tablet Owners Pay Attention to Select Types of Mobile Ads, by Gender, June 2012 (% of respondents)

Greater relevance might change that. Smartphone and tablet owners of both genders reported that seeing a mobile ad on a relevant topic was the factor most likely to get them to pay more attention to the ad. (For men, seeing fewer ads overall was tied with the desire for relevance.) Nearly a third of women indicated that funny ads would also catch their eye.

eMarketer estimates US advertisers will spend $2.3 billion on mobile ads this year—and hopefully for them, most of those ads will be relevant, if not always humorous.


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