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The heavy uptake of the mobile internet in Sweden has made mobile a channel marketers cannot ignore. According to data from IAB Sweden and SWEDMA, 79% of the country’s internet users ages 15 to 65 used a smartphone in March 2013, and another 36% used a tablet. eMarketer estimates somewhat lower smartphone penetration—the devices are expected to reach 61% of mobile phone users this year—but still credits Sweden as a global leader in smartphone adoption.
Companies appear to be keeping up with consumers where they connect. Eighty-six percent of companies surveyed by IAB Sweden said they used mobile marketing. Even as such an overwhelming majority engage in marketing on mobile, however, that does not mean they've maximized the channel yet. According to Anders Börde, head of IAB Mobile Sweden, “Despite a large majority doing some type of mobile marketing, too many companies work without a proper strategy. This leads to a lower performance from mobile initiatives thus far.”
In a sign that marketers believe there is plenty more value to be wrought from mobile, half of marketers said they would invest more in mobile this year, and 23% said they would invest much more in mobile.
Thinking about where to make those greater mobile investments, marketers would do well to bear in mind how consumers are using their smartphones and tablets. Downloading apps ranked high, an activity performed by almost all mobile internet users in the country, suggesting that there is incentive for companies to invest in mobile apps, alongside the mobile web.
For retailers, the prominence of comparison shopping on mobile is important to consider as they develop their multichannel efforts. More than half of respondents searched for product information and reviews via mobile, and another 49% compared prices on mobile before shopping in-store or online.
Additionally, 28% reported downloading coupons and a considerable 22% clicked on a banner. These percentages show that not only are consumers engaging on mobile, they seem reasonably receptive so far to mobile ads and outreach.
According to Börde, “Swedes not only love their mobiles in their private and social lives; there is an openness to the customer-company relationship as well.”
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