Astounded by how lowly mobile marketing is seen in the eyes of entrepreneurs, I’ve sought to create a facts and figures list to highlight the relevance of mobile. The list looks at where mobile users are and how they’re engaging with mobile, with the end goal being to convince you of the relevance mobile marketing has in today’s world. Let’s start with the fact that the mobile internet is poised to take over desktop internet usage by the end of this year. The question is: how are we using mobile – and why? The “why” is an easier place to start.

To answer the “why” behind mobile marketing, consider that half of all local searches being performed are on mobile phones occur because people are on the go more. With marketers responding to a literally mobile culture, mobile tags (including QR codes) have been created to provide more comparison-friendly product information than traditional barcodes alone. In addition to an on-the-go culture, we’re also more comfortable with multi-tasking by using our phones simultaneously while running errands, watching TV, socializing. Our phone usage has become a part of who we are.

To answer the “how”, take a look at the curated statistics below:

116 million Americans owned smartphones by 2012, a figure up from 93.1 million the year before. 45% of users aged 18-29 use mobile search daily, with 40% searching on their tablets and 60% searching on their phones.

75% of Americans use their smartphones while in the bathroom. If you take a look at the world’s 7 billion plus people, more of these people own smartphones than toothbrushes. Source: Convince and Convert

That figure goes up to 86% while watching TV. Source: Tag Microsoft

40% of searches alone are conducted while watching TV. Source: iAquire

59% of mobile users are as comfortable with mobile advertising as they are with TV and online ads. Source: InMobi

85% of mobile users prefer mobile apps over the mobile Web. Source: Compuware

This is particularly true for the developing world, where (according to Convince and Convert) “the rise in 3g and 4g data in countries like India and China proved to be a massive shift in the dynamic of mobile web usage due to the poor infrastructure … and more expensive at-home connections.”

Mobile drives 23% of paid-search clicks. Source: The Search Agency

Mobile commerce will account for 15% of total e-commerce sales this year. Source: eMarketer

52% of Americans use their smartphones while shopping to check out their product online before making a final purchase. Meanwhile, 42% of consumers using a mobile device while in-store spend more than $1,000. Source: Interactive Advertising Bureau

Add to this that 70% of mobile searches lead to action on websites within one hour, and 40% will choose another result if a site is not mobile friendly. Source: iAcquire

The U.S. wireless industry is valued at $195.5 billion, which is larger than publishing, agriculture, hotels and lodging, air transportation, films, music, and car manufacturers in terms of competitive industry segments. It rivals the computer system design service and oil and gas extraction industries. Source: CTIA

1 billion smartphones will be shipped globally this year. Source: Gartner

In light of these facts, a staggering 69% of small businesses consider mobile marketing crucial to their business growth over the next five years. This makes sense if you consider that 82.2 million out of 234 million U.S. based mobile users all use a smart phone. It doesn’t stop with a smart phone; consider Kindle and iPad users too. With these impossible-to-ignore facts, it’s more pressing than ever before to adopt a smart mobile marketing plan. It’s hardly an option anymore; rather, it’s how we do business.