Females The Hardest To Reach Via iPhones

iphone3g2The iPhone is widely regarding as one of the most important smartphones in terms of mobile marketing potential.  While advertising engagment is usually very high on the iPhone, recent research suggests that one demographic in particular is far less likely to interact with the ads than others are.

Brand in Hand, a mobile marketing agency whose clients includes Procter & Gamble, General Mills and American Express, started to notice that the iPhone consistently performed the worst on measures of engagement when it comes to marketing to 19- to 49-year-old females.

The agency found, during several trials and more than 60 mobile campaigns it has run over the past two years, that female iPhone users are less engaged with mobile web advertising than their counterparts who use phones with conventional features.  Overall, users of conventional cellphones average 3 to 3.5 more post-click page views than iPhone users, who average 1.3 post-click page views.  Post-click page views refer to the actions users take after clicking through a banner ad, such as viewing a video.

Similarly, iPhone users leave a branded web page without taking additional action about 80% of the time, while only 12% of non-smartphone users, on the other hand, desert their destination.  The study measured users who were clicking through to those destinations from a mobile banner ad.

The reasons behind women being less likely to interact with advertising on the iphone include speculation that women are more task-oriented, therefore using their iPhone for organization and work-related tasks instead of using apps that include a lot of embedded advertising.  In addition, women are less likely to spend hours playing games and other apps that can potential engage a user for long periods of time, and therefore produce greater chances of clicking on advertising.

Whatever the case may be, it presents a new challenge to mobile marketers who are already facing an uphill battle in terms of interacting  with the hard-to-reach 19-49 year old female demographic.   Only about 18% of women age 18-49 have a smartphone today, or roughly 3% of the total cellphone-carrying population, according to Nielsen.

About 721,000 moms age 25 to 44 own an iPhone, according to M: Metrics, and for agencies like Brand in Hand, which are under pressure to show results, smartphones just won’t cut it, even if most people are expected to have one in a few years.