73 Smartphone and Tablet Facts Every Marketer Needs

The State of Mobile 2014

The State of Mobile 2014-Girl on Beach With SmartphoneMobile devices are a way of life in 2014.

What does “Mobile” mean to your customers?
What does “Mobile” mean to YOU as a marketer?

To answers these questions, we’ve analyzed the latest research on how people in the US and around the world think about mobile and how they use their mobile devices.  (BTW- Here is mobile data from earlier this year.

The State of Mobile 2014

Let’s start with the mobile basics:

54% of consumers think mobile means “smartphone” or “cell phone” and 4% think “tablet” or “e-readers” according to Exact Target research.

  • 32% of respondents associate mobile with on-the-go use.
  • 85% of respondents consider mobile devices a central aspect of their lives.
  • 89% of respondents feel mobile devices allow them to stay in touch with loved ones and events in their lives.

To appreciate how your customers think about and use their mobile devices, put yourself in your target audience’s shoes regardless of whether you’re a B2B, B2C, not-for-profit or solopreneur marketer.

For them mobile isn’t just another marketing channel. It’s a way of life.

  • 47% of Americans can’t go more than 24 hours without their smartphone according to BankAmerica research.
  • On average, respondents spend 3.3 hours per day on their smartphones according to Exact Target research

Global mobile traffic as a percentage of total Internet traffic is growing at a rate of 25% in May 2014. It’s growth is exponential.

The State of Mobile 2014-Global Mobile Traffic

Mobile time: Device usage patterns

Mobile consumption in the US increased to 60% digital time spent in 2014 based on comScore.

  • 44% improvement in mobile app usage.
  • 38% improvement in mobile web usage.

This mobile growth is incremental since there was only a 2% loss in desktop time spent. US mobile app usage is roughly 5 times greater than mobile web usage. 

The State of Mobile 2014-mcommerce

Yet, when viewed in comparison over time, the mobile web continues to grow, according to comScore.

The State of Mobile 2014

US Android smartphone owners use their devices for traditional phone functions according to Nielsen 2013:

  • 9% of total smartphone time for text messages
  • 3% of total smartphone time for phone dialer
  • 2% of total smartphone time for address books

Smartphone usage peaks during the morning, between 8:00am and noon, while tablet usage peaks after 6:00pm. BUT don’t rush to think that smartphones are for work and tablets are for play! Both are on all day. While tablet usage peaks on weekends, the variance isn’t that large.

State of Mobile 2014

Mobile websites

While you need a mobile website, it’s not a cure-all according to exact Target’s 2014 mobile research.

  • 67% of consumers think mobile-optimized websites run faster. They should since they tend to have less content. Also, mobile users are focused on specific activities.
  • 54% of of consumers find it easier to get the information they’re seeking.
  • 54% of consumers believe mobile-optimized websites don’t provide enough information.
  • 37% of consumers are more likely to BUY from a mobile-optimized websites.
  • 27% of consumers will leave it you don’t have mobile-optimized website.

State of Mobile-2014-Mobile website

Mobile apps

Mobile apps are where consumers spend their digital media time.

The average consumer launches mobile apps 10 times per day and a mobile addict is someone who launches apps 60 times more per day (or 6 times more frequently than average) according to Flurry. (Want to get your mobile app distributed better? Check these 21 actionable marketing tips to help promote your mobile app.)Global  Mobile Daily App Usage 2014-Flurry-1

As of March  2014, there were 176 million mobile addicts, up from 79 million in March 2013 or 123% growth.

Mobile addicts are almost half of the 18 to 24 age group and 40% of of the 35 to 54 age group. 

The State of Mobile 2014-App

Mobile Addicts are 52% female and 48% male while average mobile users are 48% female and 52% male. Female mobile addicts over-index 8% compared to the average mobile user. While this seems small, it means there are 15 million more female Mobile Addicts than male Mobile Addicts.

Mobile Addict Persona-2014-Flurry-2

Everyone needs a break during the day. Mobile apps fill that need with games, media and entertainment. Entertainment app usage peaks in the early TV prime time and decreases through the evening.

State of Mobile 2014-Exact target

Mobile apps are not just for kids. Interestingly, adult app usage also peaks in the evening hours during TV prime time.

State of Mobile 2014

Mobile text messages

Tread softly when gathering mobile phone numbers for opt-in text messages. Customers want you to show them the money!!!

  • 54% of consumers opted-in for brand’s text messages. 
  • 77% of consumers who opted-in for brand text messages wanted coupons and deals.
  • 50% of consumers who opted-in for brand text messages wanted personal alerts. 

State of Mobile 2014

The downside of opt-in text messages:

  • 52% of consumers who did NOT opt-in for brand’s text messages thought they were disruptive.
  • 18% of consumers who did NOT opt-in for brand’s text messages thought they decreased battery life.

Mobile content

Pinterest (83%) dominates smartphone usage while Twitter (76%) and YouTube (73%) dominate tablet usage according to Exact Target research. This makes sense since people are pinning things they see on-the-go. While they use Twitter to communicate about content they’re consuming when they have time.

It’s important to note that other research has shown that that the Pinterest app drives pins!

Interestingly, both Facebook and Instagram are located in the middle range with similar usage on both devices.

  • Marketing Implication: Tailor your social media activity based on consumer activity and device usage.

State of Mobile 2014

Mobile activities

Tablets are no longer just for couch surfing! Tablets are highly portable, always-on media consumption devices according to Flurry.

Tablets tend to be used for passive activities.

  • 40% watch video on a tablet versus 30% on a smartphone.
  • 57% use a tablet to read and 43% use a smartphone to read. 
  •  65% of tablet owners use their tablet while watching TV at least once per day.
  • 41% use their tablet and smartphone simultaneously at least once a day.

On tablets, email (69%) and searching for info online (70%) are the most popular daily activities; for smartphones, it’s email (91%) and text messaging (90%).

Mobile-Smartphone-Tablet-Daily Activity-2014-Exact Target-1

People who own both a smartphone and a tablet participate in more activities than smartphone owners.

This has important implications for marketers in terms of email notifications, text messages, liking a brand on social media and using a QR code.

State of Mobile 2014

Mobile search

US mobile advertising is projected to reach $17.73 billion in 2014. Mobile search will account for $9.02 billion according to eMarketer. Mobile search advertising will grow to $28.41 billion or 85.9% of the US digital search advertising market. State of Mobile 2014

Knowing your customer and their habits is critical when it comes to planning your mobile search strategy. It’s no longer just Google anymore. eMarketer estimates that Yelp’s mobile search revenues will reach $119.4 million in 2014.

State of Mobile 2014-Search Ad

Mobile search dominates for on-the-go information; it’s used by 65% of smartphone owners and 38% of tablet owners. This is the highest amount for these devices!!!

  • Marketing Implication: Appear on mobile search or you risk losing potential customers when they’re out and about!!! Save some budget to reach these prospects. Don’t forget your phone number and address!!!

State of Mobile 2014

Mobile commerce (or m-commerce)

19.0% of US retail ecommerce sales will come from mobile devices in 2014 and will grow to 25% by 2016 according to eMarketer projections.Mcommerce - eMarketer-2012-2018-1

For grocery shoppers, you need to show them the money according to a September 2013 study byNinth Decimal (formerly JiWire).

  • 28% said that receiving a coupon was the biggest influencer of purchases.
  • 20% said notification of an item on sale would prompt a purchase. 

MobileGrocery Shoppers-2013- eMarketer

Catalina’s April 2014 study found that 62% of mobile shoppers were extremely or very likely to use digital coupons in the future. The marketing challenge is to not piss customers off or slow down their errands. State of Mobile 2014

Mobile goes local

As a marketer, understand where your prospect is and how they’re using your information by device. Google Maps dominates local sites. It’s totally app based usage.  By contrast Yahoo Answers is 100% browser based since people are looking up information.State of Mobile 2014

Location sharing gets mixed customer sentiment according to Exact Target.

  • 71% of consumers use location sharing and 73% of them think that it’s useful.
  • 64% of consumers get location based push notices and 80% of them think that this messages are useful. 
  •  64% of consumers get location based emails from brands and 95% of them think these emails are useful.
  • 63% of consumers who opt out of location sharing DON’T like the idea of sharing their location.

State of Mobile 2014-Location sharing

Mobile marketing

For many marketers, mobile marketing gets down to a lack of resources. It’s particularly challenging since there’s a plethora of different devices with a wide range of screen sizes.

Here are 3 important take-aways from Ascend2’s June 2014 mobile research:

  • 42% of marketers worldwide used mobile marketing. 
  • 38% of marketers worldwide cited lack of in-house expertise and 36% cited limited budgets as the leading mobile marketing challenge.
  • 21% of marketers worldwide lacked a mobile website. 

State of Mobile 2014-Marketing challenges

  • Marketing implications: Get an agency to create a mobile optimized website to have a presence!!! Alternatively, use a blog with a mobile plug-in as a short-term work around.


So, what does the State of Mobile 2014 mean for you as a marketer?

Mobile is working its way into every aspect of our business and personal lives.

You must put yourself in your target audience’s shoes to appreciate how they think about and use their mobile devices or miss significant opportunities to connect with your audience, build your brand and make sales.

What do you see as the most important fact for the State of Mobile 2014?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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