Business-oriented apps and m-commerce on the rise
Senior-level executives have been reliant on mobile for years, giving them a lifeline to work while on the go or at home. But as smartphones become more entrenched into all aspects of life for consumers and businesspeople alike, and younger, more tech-savvy executives move up the ranks, mobile opportunities for business-to-business (B2B) marketers are opening up.
Among C-suite executives surveyed in October 2010 by Forbes Insights, 82% had a smartphone—far above smartphone penetration in the population as a whole, which eMarketer estimates at 19.4% this year. And for a majority of executives, their mobile device is considered their primary business communications tool. Only respondents over 50 tended to disagree with that statement.
The oldest respondents were also the group least comfortable with making a business purchase via mobile, though even 48% of over-50s said they were comfortable. Overall, nearly two-thirds of respondents would buy items for work over the mobile web, a proportion that reached 78% among executives under 40.
Most US executives were also using mobile apps for business purposes. There was a dramatic drop in app usage among the oldest respondents, but a majority of all those under 50 used both free and paid B2B apps at least occasionally.
And the executives are paying attention to ads on their mobile devices as well. A majority (57%) said they noticed mobile advertising, and nearly as many had clicked on mobile web ads (56%) and paid search ads (51%).
“As optimistic as this may sound to marketers, senior executives also present a warning to would-be advertisers: 53% of executives—evenly distributed across age groups—indicate that they find mobile ads more intrusive than typical web ads,” cautioned the report. “As such, mobile marketers need to be careful to ensure they do not cross the line between welcome or at least acceptable advisory versus unwanted interruption.”
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Check out today’s other article, “Following Japan’s Lead on Social Games.”