According to the Mobile Intent Index, mobile phone users do not access the mobile Internet for educational purposes or for creative expression, as the transitory nature of mobile intent goes against spending time to engage in discussions about personal issues. As expected, usage by gender and age differ, with men accessing the mobile Internet ‘to escape,’ and women making others laugh.


“Mobile phones have become the way people organize their lives—managing finances, connecting with friends, purchasing products—and this trend will only accelerate,” says Kathy Bloomgarden, Ruder Finn co-CEO. “The mobile phone is becoming the most powerful online device, and the faster businesses can adapt their services to harness consumer mobile intent, the more rapidly they can capitalize on understanding their customers to drive growth.”


The Mobile Intent Index asked respondents how frequently they use their mobile phones to go online for 295 reasons. The results show that immediacy is the primary factor driving behavior.

“Mobile phone use goes beyond instant gratification,” says Marty McGough, director, Ruder Finn Insights. “Our survey data shows that people use their mobile phones out of necessity for instant access to the Web whether it’s to conduct business with the most recent information or advocate on the spot on issues of pressing concern and breaking news.”


Additionally, the data underscores the rise of phone applications.  Three in five (61 percent) respondents download applications at least once per month while 36 percent of users download applications from social networking sites at least once per month.


The survey found that mobile phones are a social connector. The vast majority (91 percent) of mobile users go online to socialize, compared to only 79 percent of traditional users. They are using their mobile phones "at the moment” to connect with others.


Mobile phones are also a personal finance tool.  Mobile phone users (60 percent) are 1.3 times more likely to go online to do business compared to traditional users (45 percent).  In fact, they are 1.6 times more likely to manage finances (62 percent versus 39 percent).   Mobile phones offer users the chance to conduct business in real time, and this is the major reason that business-related intents are so high. 


And mobile phones are used for advocacy.  Nearly half of mobile users (49 percent) go online to advocate compared to only 41 percent of traditional users.  In fact, they (67 percent) are 1.4 times more likely than traditional users (47 percent) to activate support.  Mobile phones offer users the chance to immediately respond to breaking news, whether it is a new piece of legislation or even the latest ongoing development of a corporation or politician under siege.


But mobile phones are not a learning tool. Mobile users (76 percent) are much less likely than all users (92 percent) to go online to learn.  Learning requires time and patience, something mobile phone users are in short supply of. And mobile phones aren’t used for creative expression.  Mobile users are 1.3 times less likely to personally express themselves online (42 percent) compared to traditional users (54 percent).