As an industry, mobile marketing is probably the most interesting place to be right now.

The pace at which the technology is developing is matched by the level of interest in it, and unlike other innovations, mobile technology is all about connecting people to people in new and interesting ways - which makes the whole enterprise thrilling and at the same time very, very human.

It is possible, though, to get caught up in the details, to lose sight of the big picture in favor of “ooh-ing” and “aah-ing” over the latest gadget, widget, app or implementation. These are the things that can let creativity run riot, as you imagine new and different ways to use said technology. The thing is, though, that all this technology really works to serve people, and perhaps that is the lesson to remember - that at the end of the day, marketing is about making connections and engaging with people.

That is why it is so heartening to see the sort of research that is coming out of Jumptap. The company is doing some interesting research on consumer behavior, focused specifically on mobile users. The latest release in its Understanding Mobile Audience series focuses on mobile buying, and includes some interesting nuggets.

While 31% of phone owners have made a purchase on their mobile phone, owners of mobile tablets who have used them for mobile buying is much higher (63%), which is rapidly catching up to PC owners who use them for online purchases (83%). Younger users show the most use of their devices for buying - the 18-34 age group reports 51%, 79% and 89% respectively for mobile buying on phones, tablets and PCs. Security is more of a concern for mobile phone users - 32% of them cite security as a reason for not using their devices for buying, compared to 17% of tablet users who are too security-conscious to use their devices for purchases. Mobile banking is also on the increase, with one in six users using their devices for mobile banking this year compared to one in eight last year. Most of these users use mobile web instead of an app, and of that group, 21% access their bank account on a mobile device at least once a day.

While these figures hold true for the US, and may not be directly applicable or transferable to Asia, it is the intention behind them that I applaud. Understanding the mobile customer is an important part of the mobile marketing equation. It is only by understanding them that we can design campaigns that will respect, engage and connect with mobile users. Using the available technology is only one part of the process, and hopefully there will be more research like this done in this part of the world.

At the end of the day, the same marketing truths apply whether you’re marketing through the mobile channel or otherwise, and using powerful emotional truths in creative ways in order to fully engage with our audiences is the only way that we will move forward. Mobile marketing offers dramatically increased access to audiences, and promises 360 degree, one-to-one engagement, but that will only happen when mobile marketers have the tools and the research to understand their audience better.

By Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association Asia Pacific Limited