The other week someone asked me what an agency such as Rabbit (where I work) should be focusing on going forward.
My reply, was previously organisations have been talking about a digital first approach. In other words, concentrate on online channels and content 1st, which then filters into the offline world. However now the priority has to be mobile first, you cater in the 1st instance for people who may be consuming your content via their smartphones.
Sounds obvious enough, but some recent stats demonstrate the need to move from theory to practice:
- In February 2012, smartphone penetration in the five main European Union states was 48.9% – 54.7% in the UK . Similarly, in the US, over half of all mobile phones
will be smartphones in 2013are now smartphones, according to Nielsen stats.
- Most in the UK had used an app (52%) a mobile browser (52.6%), and though the mobile games space is growing with 37% having played a game, 39% had accessed social networks via their mobile
- Depending on who you believe, mobile Internet will overtake fixed PC Internet use in either 2014 or 2015. (infographic from Microsoft above)
- In April for the first time in 40 months, social network apps overtook games. Analytics company Flurry says mobile users spent 24 minutes each a day on games and social networks, with social networks slightly ahead. Overall users Flurry tracked spent 77 minutes a day with mobile apps – so over an hour a day
- A related study published in the Telegraph, found that smartphone owners make *fewer* telephone calls, spending five hours a week surfing the Internet on their devices
- The UK study by Recombu.com found that smartphone owners spend more time sending emails, on social media and shopping online…and less time reading books, exercising or watching TV
- That latter stat ties into an Ofcom one I use quite a lot about the most essential form of media among UK consumers. Among 18-24 year olds, the TV is now the 3rd most essential media (after mobiles and PC+Internet) and another piece of research this week said that 41% of 18-24 year olds (1/5 of all adults) had abandoned live TV
- In fact, a lot of that reading now happens on Tablets. “Tablet is the new PC” says a Forbes blog post – Gartner is predicting a 98% increase in tablet sales in 2012 to 118 million units
- In March 2012, mobile devices accounted for 10% of traffic to online retail sites. Separately, a study by SEO Agency Spy said that 54% of UK consumers had made a purchase via their mobiles, while only a minority (35%) would never consider it
- A study involving 34,000 people worldwide by browser Opera found that in some countries almost half of new Internet users are mobile only. Bear in mind that Opera pulls its data from its own users, and that Opera’s main focus is now mobile devices, but this is still significant
- Though high-end digital camera sales are expected to remain strong, the bottom end of the market will suffer as more and more people use their smartphone as their main camera – digital camera shipments are expected to decline 4.3% in 2012
So what’s the conclusion? In two, at the latest three years, mobile devices will be the main way of connecting to the Internet. Younger consumers are already doing so, and various activities ranging from social media to online shopping are increasing on smartphones.
Smartphones are becoming the primary camera for more and more people coinciding with Instagram reaching 50 million users, while smartphone users are not only always connected but engage in content snacking as this US report says
In other words, what they consume may not be different, but how they consume it, how long for, how they share it and how they view it will be. That’s something we need to be ready for now.