A report released today by the firms Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies outlines a conundrum for anyone who wants to leverage mobile technology: Increasingly more consumers want smart phones, but they don’t seem that excited on those features that the phones so smart.
According to the report, 52 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed said they intend to make their next mobile purchase a smart phone, compared to the 29 percent who plan on buying a regular cell phone. Conversely, it’s what they plan–or don’t plan–to use with their phones that caught my eye. While 33 percent of those surveyed said their smart phone data plan usage would increase, 41 percent said they don’t anticipate using such service. And 32 percent will increase their time browsing the web on their mobiles, as opposed to 38 percent who won’t use mobile web browsing capabilities. A whopping 46 percent don’t plan to use mobile apps, compared to the 28 percent who will.
It’s a conundrum for those who want to sell these services, and for those who want to reach consumers through them. Again, the onus is going to fall on marketers and others who monetize mobile technology: These professionals will have to figure out how to educate consumers and get them to want (and to feel that they need) these technologies.
How can everyone do their part? Well, the research firms note that consumers need to be told clearly how much data will cost, so that don’t inadvertently overspend and give up on their smart phone altogether–hear that, carriers? Meanwhile product sellers, service providers, and marketers need to focus their message not just to cutting-edge enthusiasts, but also to tech-shy consumers whose lives would indeed be made easier with mobile technologies. Even if they don’t know it yet.