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The Mobile Internet PDF Print E-mail
Written by Millward Brown   
11 Jul 2008

The Mobile Internet

According to the Mobile Data Association over 17 million people surfed the Web on their mobile in the U.K. during December 2007 (23 percent of those with a mobile/cell phone). With the number of mobile Web users steadily increasing, it is becoming more established as a viable marketing medium. Millward Brown have just completed a ground breaking study which revealed how people are using the mobile Internet and examined the effectiveness of mobile advertising on a sector-by-sector basis.

The study, which was sponsored by Peugeot, Sky, Nestlé, More Th>n, Procter & Gamble, Orange and a U.K. mobile agency, measured the opinions of over a thousand 18–64 year old personal computer Internet users in the U.K.

Its aim was to highlight which sectors would benefit most from investment in mobile advertising and marketing, and which formats, content and communication methods would be most acceptable to consumers and effective for advertisers.

Mobile Internet usage

Among its PC Internet sample, the study showed:

Over half of all PC Internet users use the mobile Internet and this rises to over three-quarters among 18–24 year olds
one in three mobile Internet users browse at least once a week and spend on average six minutes per session. Among 18–34 year olds the time spent surfing rises to 10 minutes per session
two-thirds of those using the mobile Internet use it to search and nearly half of all regular users use it to research big ticket items such as cars and holidays.

In the mix

The study found that the mobile Internet is affecting how people use other media in different ways.

The heaviest mobile Internet users felt that having access to the Web on their mobile was more important to them than TV or newspapers. A net of 17 percent of heavy mobile Internet users said they were reading less and a net of 23 percent felt they were surfing more using a PC/laptop.* This suggests that mobile marketing may be a good complementary medium to use alongside Web activities, but potentially more of a replacement medium for press, if mobile’s audience share continues to grow.

Strong brand impact

Dynamic Logic — a Millward Brown company with expertise in measuring marketing effectiveness — are now conducting increasing numbers of AdIndex effectiveness studies for mobile marketing campaigns. They have recently worked with Greystripe — the leading distributor of ad-supported mobile games in the U.S. — to measure the overall branding effects of their mobile campaign promoting the movie The Golden Compass.

The results showed that the mobile ads created a significant increase in awareness of and interest in the movie. Ad exposure generated a 19.3 percent increase in awareness of the movie’s title and also a 9.5 percent increase in interest in seeing the film among mobile Internet users.

Advertisers who sponsored the research are now examining the findings to identify the best category-specific mobile marketing opportunities among their individual target audiences.

And the future?

The Mobile Data Association figures show that the number of people using the mobile Internet in the U.K. has been steadily growing over the last two years. The non-users surveyed by Millward Brown said the main barriers to using the mobile Internet were the cost and lack of knowledge about how to access Internet services on their mobile.

However, with the introduction of low fixed-rate tariffs and smart phones, and as the technology savvy younger generations mature, the popularity of the mobile Internet will surely rise.


The mobile Internet is gradually playing a larger role in the media mix, particularly among younger consumers. Mobile search ads and relevant, targeted mobile display advertising offer new opportunities for marketers — particularly those with progressive, modern brands looking to target a younger audience.

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