As both a founding supporter of the IAB Mobile Center of Excellence
and a technology media company, IDG has a special interest in trying to better understand buyers and sellers. Numerous research reports have chronicled the explosive adoption of mobile devices but for mobile advertising to accelerate, it is critical to identify buyer behaviors and, most importantly, buyer preferences. To that end, a recent IDG Global Solutions
(IGS) online survey asked people in 43 countries how they use their mobile devices at work and when shopping.
The IGS survey of more than 25,000 tech professionals and tech enthusiasts provides revealing insights into the importance of mobile in the buying process, the perception of mobile advertising, and the behavioral shifts brought on by rapid adoption rates for both tablets and smartphones. The spring 2013 online research reveals that today’s mobile audience is highly engaged, always on, is increasingly receptive to mobile ads, and uses tablets and smartphones at each stage of the purchase process including buying!
Personal and Work Lives Converge
Much has been written about the dramatic adoption rates for connected devices and mobile becoming the preferred channel for the tech savvy. However, the mobile momentum and ever-changing interaction with technology has led to major behavioral shifts. Users have migrated from the established separation of work and play toward an “always on” mentality reflected in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work trend. Today, the lines between private lives and work are being erased with 41% of smartphone users and 37% of tablet users saying that they use privately purchased smartphones and tablets as business devices. The figures rise steeply in emerging regions such as Asia Pacific and Latin America where over 60% of respondents use their own devices on their work networks. Many of the respondents are among the most tech savvy, a group that serves as an early indicator of what is to come with the general population.
Mobile Users Are Active Shoppers
The findings show that this 24/7 audience is actively searching for and recommending products, interacting with vendors and, importantly, is open to mobile advertising: when asked which formats they are most likely to engage with the IGS survey participants cited email, coupons, and location-based advertising.
Last year’s IGS research revealed that connected devices are an integral part of working life. This year the survey focused more on which work activities are performed regularly on mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets are crucial tools starting with information collection and ending with a purchase.
At the product research stage 47% of all smartphone users and 67% of tablet users collect information with their devices. It is important to highlight that 40% of all smartphone users visit tech vendor sites in this process; therefore, mobile optimization is crucial for vendors. A positive mobile experience will impact brand perception and thus the final purchase as 30% of survey respondents said that they would not make a purchase with their smartphone if a site is not mobile optimized. The next stage — price comparison and checking with peers on social networks and forums — is also a tablet and smartphone activity. But most importantly, the audience is buying with their connected devices (73% of tablet users and 56% of smartphone users make purchases on their devices ). More surprisingly, nearly a quarter of professionals and tech enthusiasts make business purchases via their smartphones, while 21% make business purchases with their tablets.
Video Consumption for Entertainment and Work
Not only have technology platforms changed, different content formats are also preferred by mobile users in comparison to the wired web. Ninety percent of all tablet users said they watch video content on their device (up from 66% in 2012) while 67% indicated that they watch videos on their small-screen smartphones. Most interesting from a marketer’s point of view is the fact that users do not just watch YouTube videos and movies but also access vendor content and reviews. One-third of all respondents watch promotional videos on their tablets and 40% view videos/webcasts related to their jobs.
The many years and predictions of “this is the year of mobile” are over. Mobile adoption rates have soared for a few years as shipments of PCs continue to decline. Marketers and media companies must respond to their prospects and audiences as they accelerate their reliance on mobile devices for interaction, entertainment, and purchase activities.
About the Author
Christina Carstensen has over thirteen years experience in the digital media space. For the past four years Christina has headed up IDG’s Mobile offering, developing& executing mobile led strategy and programs specifically designed to connect to an ever-growing mobile audience.