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U.S. Mobile Smartphone Advertising Advances Slowly

Will consumer advertising on mobile handsets, such as smartphones, finally gain momentum in the U.S. market as it has in others around the world? At this point in time, it's apparently a definite maybe.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, 27 percent of U.S. mobile phone users accessing the mobile Internet have clicked on a mobile banner advert or text link. That compares to 21 percent in their previous survey.

Neil Strother, ABI Research's practice director for mobile marketing strategies, said "More people are accessing websites through their mobile phones today than 14 months ago, and clicking on ads is becoming more commonplace."

This trend is a positive one for marketers and advertisers, and should give them greater confidence in their mobile efforts, knowing that well-targeted offerings can find traction among consumers.

The key to success, Strother says, is to purchase inventory on mobile websites that have the desired audience profile and then present creative elements that meet the needs and have relevance for those mobile consumers.

Other highlights from the ABI study include:

- Mobile Internet access on a daily basis is up significantly, with 28 percent of mobile phone users accessing Internet sites at least once a day from their phones. That compares to just 16 percent in the previous survey conducted at the end of 2008.

- Resistance to receiving promotions such as coupons and discounts on the mobile phone is eroding: About 45 percent of respondents, while not enthusiastic, would accept promotions if they had some control over the process.

- By contrast, only about 36 percent would accept these types of mobile promotions in the earlier survey.

- Consumers remain guarded about using their mobile phones to make purchases, with 76 percent saying that security around such transactions is a major concern, an increase from 71 percent in the previous survey.

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