The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan "fact tank" that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does so by conducting public opinion polling and social science research; by reporting news and analyzing news coverage; and by holding forums and briefings. It does not take positions on policy issues.
Pew recently conducted an Internet survey analyzing the cell phone activities of American adults. These results come from two Pew Internet tracking surveys. One was conducted between August 7-September 6. 2012 with 3,014 American adults (ages 18+). Among them were 2,581 the cell phone owners and the margin of error in the survey for findings among cell owners is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points. The second survey was conducted between March 15-April 3, 2012 among 2,254 adults, including 1,954 cell owners, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.
From the data, Pew was able to conclude that 85 percent of American adults now use their cell phones for things other than making calls. In class, we talked about the importance of knowing the demographics of your participants and being able to generalize the findings to a larger population.
Gathering this data measuring cell phone activities will be very useful to a number of companies and marketers. To help view data in a easy-to-read format, Pew created a demographic portrait for each of the different activities available for use on cell phones. Looking at the data, it is interesting to see that the top rating activity use for cell phones besides calling is picture taking. On the other side of the spectrum, checking a bank account is the lowest. This information can be used to see what demographic markets different cell phone companies and providers should market to.
Using cell phone activity research seems like an excellent way to see what that majority of the public is doing with their cell phones today.