What Does the New Smartphone Share Data Mean to Event Marketers?

I have not talked about smartphone market share for a while so in this week’s blog post I look at the latest data.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, comScore indicated one third of U.S. mobile subscribers 13+ now own a smartphone based on the three-month average period ending May 2011. Drilling down further into the smartphone segment and looking at operating system (OS) share, comScore reported Google Android at 38.1 percent, Apple iOS at 26.6 percent and RIM BlackBerry at 24.7 percent.

The fact that smartphone penetration is increasing is certainly nothing new. What is new and should be noted is the majority of phones being purchased now are smartphones. According to a post on the nielsenwire blog last Thursday based on Nielsen’s May survey of mobile consumers in the U.S., "55 percent of those who purchased a new handset in the past three months reported buying a smartphone instead of a feature phone, up from 34 percent just a year ago." So not only is smartphone penetration growing, but it is now growing at a quicker rate as well. 

You probably already know that this ongoing shift towards smartphones means you need to continue understanding your attendees’ changing mobile media habits, optimizing your emails for mobile, creating mobile landing pages, etc. However, as the numbers continue to go up, if you’re not acting on these things, the cost of not doing so becomes greater.

While smartphone demand is exploding, feature phones still command two-thirds of the market share. Don’t ignore this segment unless you have target-specific data that suggests you should focus only on smartphones.

If mobile apps are part of your strategy and you only focus on one platform, i.e. iOS, your adoption rate will be limited based on the current OS share data mentioned above unless of course you have proprietary data which indicates that your audience over-indexes significantly on one platform.

Stay on top of the trends here as they affect show marketing.

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 clevy@encoremediapartners.com.