Singles Like Smartphones, Couples Like Tablets, And Everyone Loves Second Screening

It stands to reason that as our devices become more personal and enmeshed in everyday habits, easy demographic splits no longer apply when trying to understand adoption curves. In the case of mobile, it seems that not only age and gender, but marital status affect the likelihood of your having certain devices and using them in different cases. According to a new study by Harris Interactive and commissioned by The Search Agency, 49% of unmarried adults in this survey of over 2,000 owned a smartphone, while 43% of married folks did. On the other hand, 45% of married people had access to a tablet, compared to 36% of singles.  

Regardless of the screen, however, almost everyone is looking to complement their TV viewing with a more personal device. The study finds that 78% were using a computer to pursue more information about products that interested them on TV, while 66% of all tablet owners were using it for this purpose too. In yet another wrinkle, however, it turns out that the 35- to-44-year-old tablet owners are most likely to look up a product on that device (81%), compared to only 71% of the younger tablet owners -- although this younger segment owns more tablets overall. Simillarly, although the 45-54 segment owns more tablets than the 65+ group, it is the seniors who use their tablets to look up products on it that they see on TV more often.



Mike Solomon, VP, marketing strategy, The Search Agency, says that device usage -- especially when it comes to second screening -- varied according to age, marital status and other indicators, suggesting that income, the influence of children and other situational factors impact mobile device behaviors. “So much of what we see from the study, and the marketplace in general, is how time of day and other situational factors impact behavior,” he says. “Everything from age to proximity to your television or other devices impacts how and when you reach for your computer or mobile device to shop, search or get social.”

The devotion of people to their devices is especially striking in the research, which found that 59% of respondents had done searches from their smartphones even when their computers were within arm’s reach. An even higher percentage (74%) of young adults do this.

Solomon tells Mobile Marketing Daily that the larger impact of this heightened intimacy and use of devices is “people are doing a lot more research. It changes the way we behave and the way we go about making purchases.”

At his agency, Solomon says that more than two years ago they broke out mobile from desktop search and started executing discrete campaigns for them. But in the last year they have done the same for tablets. Marketers once knew with some certainty that a Web user was at home or at the office. “Now you could be anywhere,” he says.

As a result, The Search Agency has been paying close attention to targeting messaging to day and week parts. For a real estate client, for instance, they may know that on the weekends people hitting their mobile searches are definitely in market and in the field. “So we are testing changing the ad copy creative strategy around messaging on weekdays and weekends. Do we do a different landing page or push them to a call center or a sales center?”

Solomon says that while mobile searches have gone up dramatically in the last year, prices are still much lower than on the Web. “Mobile CPCs are in general half of desktop. Tablet CPCs are about 80% to 80% of desktop. One persistent problem for calculating true ROI on mobile is that while significant amounts of searching goes on via devices, much of that business converts on other platforms, making it difficult to attribute to devices. "

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