El Paso is the top U.S. city for text messaging according to consumer and media research firm Scarborough Research. Fifty-seven percent of cell phone subscribers age 18+ in El Paso text message, versus 48 percent of adult cellular subscribers nationally. Other leading markets for text messaging include Salt Lake City, Dallas and Memphis. Fifty-five percent of cell subscribers in these cities utilize the text messaging feature on their phone. Scarborough finds that Fort Myers, FL, Charleston, WV, and Grand Rapids, MI are the local markets least likely to text message. Thirty-six percent of Fort Meyers and Charleston cellular subscribers utilize the text messaging feature on their phones, as do 35 percent of those in Grand Rapids, MI.
Youth and cultural diversity are two demographic commonalities among these so-called texters, according to Scarborough Research. These consumers are 49 percent more likely than all cellular subscribers to be ages 18-24, 14 percent more likely to be Hispanic, and 24 percent more likely to be African-American. Scarborough points to these similarities as likely reasons why El Paso, Salt Lake City, Dallas and Memphis are the top text messaging markets. El Paso and Dallas both have Hispanic compositions that are well above average. Further, Salt Lake City and El Paso are top markets for 18-24 year old adults, and Memphis is a leading city for African-Americans.
"Text messaging could be largely disproportionately appealing to marketers because it delivers a young, multicultural audience. Additionally, texts can provide a very locally targeted vehicle for marketers wanting to reach people in the right place at the right time, ready to make a purchase," said Gary Meo, senior vice president, digital media services, Scarborough Research. "Texting is becoming a ubiquitous cell phone function. Local market data, such as that from Scarborough Research, can enable marketers to better understand the texter as they exist in their 'real world,' thereby leading to more effective targeting with marketing messages."
In addition to being young and diverse, Texters are among the country's highest spenders on cellular services. On average, they spend $87 on their monthly cellular bill. By contrast, all cellular subscribers spend an average of $75 monthly. They are 46 percent more likely than all cellular subscribers to typically spend $150 or more on cellular service monthly. Texters are 12 percent more likely to plan to switch services. They utilize a wide variety of phone features - such as picture messaging, streaming video and email - at a rate higher than that of the average cell user.
In examining the retail patterns of Texter households, Scarborough finds, not surprisingly, that they are avid technology shoppers. Texters are more likely than the average cell phone subscriber to live in a household that owns - or plans to buy - a wide variety of hi-tech items, from HDTVs to MP3 players to video game systems. In looking at specific stores, Scarborough finds that Best Buy is the leading audio-video store for Texter households. Thirty-nine percent of Texters live in a household that shopped this retailer during the past year, versus twenty-seven percent of all consumers nationally. Other leading stores for Texter households include Wal-Mart and Target. Thirty-five percent of Texters live in a household that shopped Wal-Mart for tech items during the past year, whereas 20 percent shopped Target.
Texters are also leading online spenders. One-fifth (20 percent) of Texters spend more than $1,000 online annually, versus 17 percent of all cellular users. They are avid online users overall, as Internet applications permeate all aspects of their lives, from household tasks (such as bill paying) to entertainment (such as downloading movies or TV programs) to interaction (such as blogging and downloading a wide variety of content).
When not online or shopping, Texters are active, on-the-go consumers. They are 37 percent more likely than all cellular subscribers to have played basketball (as a leisure activity) during the past year; 29 percent more likely to have gone jogging/running; 29 percent more likely to have played tennis, and 23 percent more likely to have practiced yoga.
Their interests reflect their youthful demographic and active nature. Texters are 12 percent more likely to have attended a professional sports event, and 57 percent more likely to have gone to an R&B/Rap/Hip-Hop concert during the past year.
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