Mobile – Content to Go Please [Research]

How Americans Consume Mobile Media

Consumers want their information to go, or more precisely, on their mobile devices, smartphones and tablets. Consumers have smartphones and tablets and they’re using them. In December, 2011, 8.2% of all digital page views were delivered via a mobile device. This breaks down to 5.2% for smartphones, 2.5% for tablets and 0.5% for other connected devices, according to comScore.

Marketers need to take note of this expanded mobile usage because it’s not just idle chatter. Here are some rough percentages of what Americans did with their mobile phones as reported by comScore.

  • 75% sent a text message.
  • 60% took a photograph with their phone.
  • 41% accessed email from their device
  • 35% visited a social networking site.
  • 25% took a video with their phone.

While slightly less than half of Americans accessed applications (aka apps) and a similar number accessed a mobile browser, what’s critical is that owners used their smartphones and tablets to get content. Across the top ten categories reported by comScore, every one experienced amazing growth of roughly 70% or more in the past year. Bear in mind that part of this increase is attributable to the fact that the bases were low. Most of this mobile and tablet use is incremental reach and engagement.  

It’s no surprise that shoppers are using their smartphones in retail establishments to check information, scan QR codes, and compare prices as well as to send product photos to family and friends.

Of interest is the significant increase in health information and job postings because these are areas that employees don’t want their bosses and coworkers to know about.

But there’s no doubt—consumers are seeking information via their smartphones and tablets. For marketers, this means your content must be readable on a smartphone or a tablet because consumers are using these devices to help keep up with the ever growing amount of information that’s available.

To put this in perspective, on average, Americans spend over an hour a day on their mobile devices or roughly 10% of their 11 hours and 33 minutes a day of media consumption, based on projections by eMarketer. Interestingly, TV shows and other video content viewed on a television set still dominate US media consumption.

A related issue for marketers is that their media spend isn’t aligned with consumer consumption. Print newspapers and magazines have a high cost relative to the low amount of time spent with these media options. Further, mobile opportunities, including Facebook, are underutilized. This is attributable in part to the rapid growth of smartphones and tablets as well as the complexity of mobile implementation.

What’s a marketer to do? Assess your 2012 marketing plans to ensure that you’ve got content that can be found and read on smartphones and tablets. Don’t overlook  text messages and the ability to read email via a smartphone. Additionally, distribute some of your search budget to mobile so you can be found when and where prospects are looking for you. Further, assess whether your media and advertising spend is distributed appropriately for your target audience. As for media marketers, determine how you can diversify your revenue streams.

Do you have any other suggestions? If so, what are they and what is your rationale for making them?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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