The Mobile Matrix: What the Connected Consumer Means for Brand Marketers

Posted by Kate Jurras on Thu, Apr 12, 2012

This is the fourth post in our mobile blog series. Throughout the mKatelyn Stokesonth of April we'll be featuring posts from some of Boston's most expert thought leaders, answering these questions: "What's happening in mobile right now? What's coming soon?" This post is by Katelyn Stokes is a Marketing Coordinator in AMP Agency's Integrated Marketing Group. She is a digital enthusiast with a passion for exploring the opportunities arising from the evolving mobile landscape.

A few weeks ago at the MITX CES and SXSW event, Steven Brennan said, "I'm cheating on my phone with my tablet. I hope my TV doesn't find out!"

This humorous yet salient statement particularly resonated with me.

Living in the multi-screen world, I use different devices to serve different needs. Let's start with the clunkiest mMultiple Devicesachine to the lightest. For all my content creation needs, I turn to the HP laptop provided by AMP. To satisfy my unhealthy reality TV addiction and cute kittens and babies YouTube videos obsession, I use my personal MacBook. If I feel like embracing my inner artist, I turn to my iPad to Draw Something. For the not-so-occasional Facebook stalking or tweeting, my iPhone is my go-to. Talk about #firstworldproblems.

Based on Mobile Future's Mobile Year in Review study findings, I apparently am not alone in my behavior:

  • 1 billion apps downloaded worldwide each month
  • 166% increase in Facebook Mobile users in the first half of 2011 alone.
  • 103 MILLION wireless tweets were posted each day
  • 1 billion Foursquare check-ins.
  • 26 photos were made "hipstery" on Instagram every second
  • 8 TRILLION texts were sent - up 1.1 trillion from last year

These statistics show a fundamental shift in consumer behavior to an "always-connected" mentality. What does this mindset shift mean for marketers?

More Opportunities to Capture the Eye of the Engaged Consumer
While smartphones and tablets are still in the relatively early stages of adoption, they are already showing persistently higher click-through rates for search advertising.

A Marin Software study found that consumers are more likely to click on PPC ads when using smartphones or tablets than when using a desktop or laptop. Actual click-through rates in Q4 2011 measured 1.25% for smartphones, 1.31% for tablets and 0.95% for desktops and laptops.
Click-through rates on search advertising are tracked closely as they are important indicators of the intention of the searcher. Higher click-through rates translate into a more valuable consumer for both advertisers and retailers.

That more valuable consumer is now on mobile and tablet devices.

Create a Strategy that Leverages the Mobile Web + Apps
Yes, we're living in an app culture. Yet, the power of the mobile website tends to get overlooked amidst all the hype.

30% of all social media traffic originates on mobile devices. Of that traffic, over 42 million people accessed social networks via their mobile browsers in 2011 while 38.5 million accessed via mobile apps.

These stats reinforce that marketers need to ensure they create a mobile web presence supplemented by mobile apps (not vice versa).

What Does the Future Hold?
By 2015, more U.S. Internet users will access the web through mobile devices than through PCs. The sales of smart phones continue to exceed all other types of computing devices combined including tablets. Canalys reported that 488 million smartphones were shipped worldwide in 2011, compared with 415 million PCs. Finally, tablet ownership in the U.S. nearly doubled this past holiday season.

The macro trend is clear: The variety and complexity of connected devices will continue to grow. There's no doubt that the mobile future will be fascinating and innovative. The possibilities are endless. And just think, smartphones and tablets may even become obsolete if Google's Augmented Reality Glasses or contacts are ever mass produced.

Photo Courtesy of: HP PC