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Brand apps second to search engines as preferred smartphone search tool

11 Dec 2012 9:14 GMT Back
Brand apps second to search engines as preferred smartphone search tool
Person texting on mobile phone

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Consumers by far favour using search engine apps to brand apps when using smartphones to search for information on products and services, according to new research published today (11 December) by the Direct Marketing Association.

The findings of the DMA Mobile Marketing Council’s first Mobile search 2012 reveal that seven in 10 (68%) UK smartphone owners prefer using search engines to research potential purchases compared to just 37% that use brand apps for the same purpose.

The research, which polled 1,000 UK consumers on their smartphone usage and preferences, also reveals the primary reasons for why consumers use their devices to search the web and the kinds of content they search for.

The top reason for why consumers use mobile search is ‘when looking for offers and deals’, cited by one in two (50%) of people polled; 40% turn to their phones when looking for information about a brand, and 27% rely on their devices when looking for a place to eat.

News tops the list of the 10 most popular kinds of content searched for, with 54% using their smartphones to keep up to date on the latest events; 30% use their devices to search for information on high street retailers, 29% on restaurants and hotels, 26% for supermarkets and 23% for consumer electronics.

While more than half of mobile users own a smartphone, 60% of consumers still prefer searching for information via desktop, compared to 15% who favour using their smartphone over desktop.

Commenting on the findings of the report, Richard Hicks, head of mobile for ITV and member of the DMA’s Mobile Marketing Council, says:

“While it’s reasonable to expect that the rise of smartphone ownership would lead to the imminent demise of desktop our research suggests this isn't happening as quickly as anticipated. However, smartphones have quickly assumed an important role in the lives of consumers. This research is essential reading for marketers to understand how and why consumers are using smartphones to search for information online.”

Mobile search 2012 polled 1,000 UK adult consumers using Toluna QuickSurveys. The research can be downloaded from the DMA’s website.


Tristan Garrick, Head of PR & Content
Tel. 020 7291 3315 /

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