How Do Your Attendees Use Their Mobile Phones?

Understanding the macro picture and trends of mobile phone use will be helpful in analyzing your target audiences’ media habits.  Since it’s been a while since I have discussed comScore’s mobile content usage stats for the U.S. market, I took a look at their most recent numbers, which they released in early May.

According to comScore, based on the three-month average period ending March 2011 for total U.S. mobile subscribers 13+:

(1) 68.6 percent sent text message to another phone
(2) 38.6 percent used browsers
(3) 37.3 percent used downloaded apps
(4) 27.3 percent accessed a social networking site or blog
(5) 25.7 percent played games
(6) 17.9 percent listened to music on mobile phone

All metrics increased from the last reporting period that ended December 2010.

There are a few points that should be notable to you as you shape your show’s mobile marketing strategy. The first is that texting still dominates mobile content usage. Text messaging/SMS continues to operate at a scale far beyond any other channel. Certainly the fact that the majority of U.S. mobile subscribers still own feature phones contributes to this data point as well as the fact that text messaging is easy to use and is now a mainstream media habit—not just a teen and young adult activity.

A second key point is the continuing rise of mobile browser usage. When I last discussed the comScore mobile browser usage data point in July 2010, it was 31.9 percent for the three-month average period ending May 2010, so that’s a 21 percent increase in the past 10 months.

While there is a lot to focus on in the mobile space these days, keep these two points top of mind, as SMS and the mobile Web offer immediate areas of traction for a lot of shows.


Cristopher Levy is managing partner of Encore Media Partners. Encore is an audience strategy, marketing and media buying agency covering traditional, digital and mobile platforms, which specializes in local, national and global trade and consumer shows, exhibitions and conferences. Reach him at