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80pc of mobile finance users own a smartphone: study

In addition to owning high-end devices, mobile users are also risk takers and are likely to have high brand loyalty, according to a new report from Millennial Media.

In Millennial Media?s new ?Mobile Intel Series? study, the ad network took a close look at how the finance vertical is playing a role in the company?s total spend. The report also analyzed how mobile finance consumers are using their devices.

?In 2011, finance remained solidly in the top 10 mobile advertising verticals in our platform, growing over 300 percent,? said Mack McKelvey, senior vice president of marketing at Millennial Media, Baltimore, MD.

?Seeing that type of growth from an established base highlights that finance advertisers and marketers have embraced mobile as a critical interaction point with their consumers and prospects,? she said.

Mobile finances
Millennial Media worked with comScore on the report.

The 80 percent of mobile finance users marks a 55 percent year-over-year growth, showing the rapid growth of smartphone ownership. Thirty-nine percent of the users surveyed own an Android device and 34 percent own an iOS device. Nineteen percent of smartphone users had a device from Research in Motion and four percent own a Windows phone. Other devices made up the remaining four percent of smartphone ownership.

Although it is easy to attribute the high iOS and Android ownership to market share, mobile finance users tend to be younger and wealthier, meaning they have more money to spend on top-notch devices.

Additionally, mobile finance users are more likely to own tablets and ereaders. Thirty-seven percent of the mobile finance audience owns a connected device that is not a phone, per the report. To compare, 22 percent of the overall mobile audience surveyed owned a non-phone connected device.

When it comes to tablets, the iPad reigns supreme, and 12 percent of mobile finance users surveyed said that they owned the device. Six percent of the mobile finance audience own a Kindle, and five percent own a Kindle Fire device.

The study also looked at the behavior of mobile finance users.

For example, consumers most likely accessing financial content are males aged 18 ? 34 years old. Thirty-two percent of the users are in the 25 ? 34 age bracket, and 21 percent of users are 18 ? 24 years old. Only 10 percent of users in the study were more than 50 years old.

Fifty-five percent of the mobile finance users surveyed were male, and 45 percent were female.

Mobile finance users also tend to have larger incomes, per the study. Forty percent of the mobile finance consumers surveyed had incomes between $25,000 and $75,000. Thirty-two percent of the same types of users had an income greater than $100,000.

Sixteen percent of mobile finance users had an income of $75,000 - $100,000. Only 12 percent of mobile finance users had an income of $25,000 or less.

Mobile finance users are 59 percent more likely to describe themselves as being into technology, 50 percent more interested in fashion and 37 percent more likely to be risk takers than the total mobile audience.

Additionally, 47 percent of mobile finance users identified themselves as being health-conscious, and 49 percent said that they were environmentally friendly.

Forty-nine percent of mobile finance users said that they would stay with a brand that they like, showing the opportunities for advertisers to include brands in mobile finance campaigns.

Finally, 95 percent of mobile finance users are more likely to respond to celebrity endorsements than the total group of mobile users.

Mobile access
According to the study, accessing bank accounts is the No. 1 activity for mobile finance users. Twenty-two percent of mobile finance users access their accounts on a routine, almost daily basis. Thirty-five percent of consumers use their devices to view their accounts at least once a week, and 32 percent use mobile banking to see accounts up to a few times a week.

Of the users accessing bank accounts on their mobile devices, 51 percent of consumers used a mobile browser to access the content. Forty-two percent used an app, and 12 percent relied on SMS to access their banking information.

Users are also using mobile to view credit card information. Twenty-three percent of mobile finance users access credit card information, 22 percent access credit card information at least once a week, and 12 percent of consumers use their devices to view credit card information on a regular basis.

Finance ranked as the No. 1 advertising vertical in 2011 for Millennial Media, growing 300 percent year-over-year. Per the study, mobile finance campaigns grew 34 percent from Sept. 2010 to Sept. 2011.

Insurance is the leading category in finance advertising, making up 42 percent of Millennial?s campaigns. Banking made up 28 percent of campaigns on Millennial Media?s platform.

Seventy percent of advertiser?s goals for campaigns were for lead generations, and 16 percent said they wanted an in-market presence.

?The mobile finance audience has a number of distinctive behaviors that advertisers can leverage in their campaigns,? Ms. McKelvey said.

?It is important to note though that mobile finance users are not only accessing financial content,? she said.

?For example, 84 percent of mobile finance users also accessed weather content, 74 percent accessed maps and 67 percent accessed news content. This shows that advertisers have multiple channels to reach this unique audience.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York