SurveyMonkey is the world’s leading provider of web-based survey solutions, trusted by millions of companies, organizations and individuals alike to gather the insights they need to make more informed decisions. When we were putting together our A Day in the Life infographic, they were one of the first Message Systems customers we decided we wanted to feature because we’re big SurveyMonkey fans here. In fact, we’ve used SurveyMonkey repeatedly to do market research on trends in email marketing and mobile messaging.

Way back in 2011 we used SurveyMonkey to ask consumers who were actively engaged in digital message-based interactions with businesses online how they were using their smartphones and the various message channels. We collected all the most interesting findings from that study in our Survey of Consumer Messaging Preferences paper. It’s fascinating to look back at some of the numbers we turned up at the time.

For instance, we found that 25% of smartphone owners using their phone rather than a desktop computer to go online. Seemed like a “wow” stat at the time, but it was really just a harbinger of things to come. More recent research finds that 60% of smartphone owners surf the web on their phones now, and as much as 65% of all email gets opened first on a mobile device. That first study also found that younger consumers were more likely than older consumers to use IM to communicate with companies they do business with on a regular basis, by a rate of 72% to 7%.

The second study we did using SurveyMonkey resulted in our Marketing Channel and Engagement Benchmark Study paper. That one was a survey of our customer base and the wider email marketing community, and was more focused on what was happening with email trends and metrics, especially email deliverability and marketer spend on cross-channel marketing. We were keying off a study, current at the time, by the Direct Marketing Association finding that ROI for email marketing dropping by 25 percent over a five-year period. Message Systems customers didn’t seem to be affected by that trend, however, with 70% reporting their ROI for email had trended upward over the same time period.

Marketing Channels In Order of Popularity
Marketing Channels In Order of Popularity

We also got some interesting data on channel spend, with the vast majority – 97% of respondents – reporting that they spent on email marketing, and uncovered pretty healthy mobile marketing numbers too, with 16% reporting that they were using SMS text marketing.

In both these cases SurveyMonkey made it really easy for us as a marketing organization to get some valuable insights into our target market, and also build out some engaging content to drive media interest, demonstrate thought leadership and use in our lead generation efforts.

Thanks to our friends at SurveyMonkey for being a valued Message Systems customer, and such a helpful resource for our own marketing efforts too!

Looking to get started on a mobile marketing campaign? Forrester’s VP & Principal Analyst, Julie Ask presents a 4-step plan for engaging with customers on mobile in the Go-to Guide for Mobile Engagement webinar!



Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins unveiled her annual compendium of Internet trends and statistics last night, and it’s been getting a lot of attention – deservedly so – in the media and on Twitter throughout the past couple of days. What jumped out at me is that the report fleshes out in great detail some findings published earlier this year in MIT’s Technology Review. In that piece, author Michael DeGusta argued that judging from available data, smartphones were spreading faster than any consumer technology in human history, reaching market maturity faster than radio, TV, the commercial Internet and many other devices and technologies.

It took landline telephones about 45 years to get from 5 percent to 50 percent penetration among U.S. households, and mobile phones took around seven years to reach a similar proportion of consumers. Smartphones have gone from 5 percent to 40 percent in about four years, despite a recession…


DeGusta goes on to float the idea that adoption rates for tablet PCs could outstrip even the eye-popping numbers we’ve seen with smartphones. While his assertions drew fire from several commenters who argued that tablets debuted long before the iPad (point taken, but the iPad is certainly the first instance where the tablet concept was first fully realized), the Meeker report provides rafts of data to back up DeGusta’s original observations. Let’s take a look at slides 12 and 9:

Microsoft PowerPoint - Internet Trends @ Stanford 120312 FINAL

Citing Pew Research Center numbers, Meeker shows that tablet sales are in fact experiencing explosive growth. Just as interesting, looking at numbers from Apple, adoption rates for the iPad tablet category device far outstrip those of the iPod and the iPhone:

Microsoft PowerPoint - Internet Trends @ Stanford 120312 FINAL

Meeker provides a lot more data to support her case that mobile computing is fundamentally reshaping the way humans live their daily lives, but I’d like to call out a couple more slides that marketers should play close attention to. First up, a quarter of all Internet shopping traffic on Black Friday last month was from mobile devices. It was 6% just two years ago. If this trend continues on its current glide path, shopping traffic could be close to or over 50% by this time next year.

Microsoft PowerPoint - Internet Trends @ Stanford 120312 FINAL

It goes without saying that for online retailers and ecommerce sites, the implications are enormous. So many of the processes and methodologies that have grown up around Internet commerce – email marketing, fat-browser-oriented site design, engagement strategies – are very much based on the assumption that the consumer is interacting with the business through a desktop PC with a mouse and full-sized keyboard attached. What we might call the customer journey for online consumers was a fairly well understood concept within most vertical industries. That world is fading away very quickly and we’re entering a new communications environment where marketers are going to need to rethink the ways they interact with and engage customers through mobile devices. How will we know when we’ve reached the other side? Let’s look at one more slide:

Microsoft PowerPoint - Internet Trends @ Stanford 120312 FINAL

In some countries, including India, mobile Internet traffic already outstrips desktop Internet traffic. It’s inevitable that the Internet experience will soon be largely a mobile one for most individuals worldwide.