New mobile usage study from BIA/Kelsey shows that local is becoming increasingly important on mobile phones with nearly 20% of users (in this study) having used their mobile to search the web for local products or services.

Highlights from the study:

  • 48.2 percent sent or received more than 10 text (SMS) messages per week
  • 18.5 percent searched the Internet for local products or services
  • 11.1 percent searched the Internet for products or services outside their local area
  • 4 percent purchased a physical item that needed to be shipped (e.g., a book)
For SMB’s and advertisers, the ability to market to the mobile audience at near purchase time and measure effectiveness will be an enormous opportunity of a billion dollar market.

Services like GoWalla and FourSquare are the closest to fulfilling this dream so far. By providing a way for users to “check in”, reporting their location in particular for restaurants or other commercial establishments, advertisers can run advertising campaigns to particular users and verify how many came. Putting revenue dollars into the analysis, it’s trivial to calculate ROI for local ads, something that has been heretofore impossible.

I wonder how soon the YellowPages delivery will cease.