I just read some really interesting data on mobile usage in a recent blog post by Internet2Go. According to the Nielson data, 87% of smartphone owners use their device while watching TV. This is significant number, especially when you consider that, as of Q2 2012, there were 126 million smartphone users in the US alone.
What are these smartphone users doing while watching TV? 55% are surfing the web; 50% are downloading apps. A full 45% of smartphone owners are shopping. I suspect a large majority of this is done during commercials (not good news per-say for TV advertisers, especially when only 26% of these users looked up information on an ad they saw on TV.
Moreover, almost half (44%) of smartphone users visited a social network while watching television.
When you add all of these numbers together, you begin to see an emerging set of consumer activities that are extremely relevant to business owners and marketers alike.
For example, the other evening my wife was busy tapping away on her smartphone the majority of the time our (supposedly) favorite network TV show was on (which shall remain nameless). As the program ended, I asked her what in the heck she was doing on her phone that couldn’t wait.
As it turns out, she was doing a lot. She was texting a friend about an upcoming BBQ, catching up on a few work emails, and researching online reviews of a product she was thinking of buying for another friend’s birthday.
This last one intrigued me. I asked her how she heard about the product in question. She said she got the idea from something her friend had said or liked on Facebook. She then searched for the product on her mobile device, where she found a mobile ad with a coupon for 20% off a similar product made by some other company. She ended up actually buying that product, all during our show.
Wow. I felt lazy by comparison. The only thing I had done is filled out a few answers to my crossword puzzle.
When I asked my wife why she decided to research and purchase her friend’s gift during our favorite TV show, her answer was telling: “It’s the first time I’ve been able to get around to doing it.”
With two young children, and two careers, we are both pretty busy. I suspect we’re not alone on this count.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Here’s my point. Most of us own smartphones. We’re all busy. As we figure out that these magical devices can make our lives easier, we tend to rely on them more and more. One way in which we do this is to purchase items for ourselves and others. Why? Because we have these devices on us at all times, and the process of buying things on them is becoming easier with each passing day.
So why the heck are businesses not trying harder to advertise to us on our mobile devices?
According to a recent survey from Hipcricket Inc., 46% of smartphone owners have viewed a mobile ad; among them, 64% have completed at least one purchase as a result of doing so. However, fully 74% of smartphone users say their favorite brands have not yet advertised to them via mobile.
- 58% of smartphone users say they’d be more likely to engage with their favorite brands if an ad included a reward, coupon, or deal.
- 44% of smartphone users say they’re willing to exchange personal information in return for a reward, coupon, or deal; however, to date only 28% have done so.
- Among those who have made a purchase as a result of a mobile ad, 45% have referred a product or service to a friend or colleague.
Seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it?
I’d say so. In fact, think I’m going to look into it more, right after my favorite TV program…