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Understanding Consumer Device Usage: The Rise of Mobile and How to Adapt Your Marketing Strategy

Understanding Consumer Device Usage: The Rise of Mobile and How to Adapt Your Marketing Strategy

In today’s digital world, consumers are constantly connected across a wide variety of devices. However, new data shows that over half of all devices used in the home are now mobile, be it smartphones or tablets. As marketers, it’s essential that we understand changing user behaviours and adapt our strategies accordingly.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll take a look at key statistics around consumer device usage and how it’s evolving. We’ll also provide practical tips on how to craft multi-device campaigns that can effectively reach consumers throughout their entire buyer’s journey. By the end, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of the mobile landscape and actionable strategies for keeping up with this shift.

A Snapshot of Household Device Ownership

Recent reports from Pew Research Center have shed light on exactly how prevalent mobile devices have become in US households:

  • Smartphone ownership has now surpassed 85% of American adults. Tablet ownership has also risen significantly over time and currently sits at around 50%.
  • On average, US households now have five different internet-enabled devices, with smartphones and tablets making up over half of all in-home connected gadgets.
  • Younger generations especially rely heavily on mobile: around 71% of 18-29-year-olds say they often get news and information from their smartphones, compared to just 21% of those 65 and older.

So while desktop and laptop computers still have their place, mobile has truly taken over as the primary internet access point for many consumers. These devices have become fully integrated into our daily lives.

Understanding the Multi-Device Consumer Journey

When crafting your marketing strategy, it’s critical to recognise that consumer behaviours vary greatly depending on where they fall in the purchase funnel

Awareness Stage: Early searchers on mobile are often just looking for general information to address problems. They use broad, non-targeted keywords.

Consideration Stage: As research intensifies, desktop takes over as comparison-shopping requires more screen real estate. Ads should provide detailed solutions.

Purchase Stage: While some complete purchases on mobile, others switch back to desktop for its ease-of-use. Track purchase paths and focus budgets accordingly.

Rather than targeting devices in isolation, develop campaigns that transition messaging based on consumer mindset. Aim to be accessible, no matter the tool in use.

Tactics for Reaching Consumers Across Channels

To truly keep up with this dynamic landscape, marketers need strategies tailored for cross-device experiences. Here are some effective approaches:

Responsive Design: Websites must render flawlessly on any format through adaptive layouts. Ensure pixels aren’t wasted, regardless of screen size.

Search Retargeting: Serve relevant ads to researchers across Google, Bing and social platforms as they browse other sites. Nurture leads.

Location targeting: Reach consumers on their smartphones when they’re physically in areas related to your business, like stores or competitor locations.

Cross-Device Tracking: Use technology like Match.com to identify unique users as they switch gadgets. Understand full purchasing patterns.

Personalised Messaging: Serve dynamic creative customised for the device, browser, location and more. Appear seamless as people change contexts.

The key is delivering consistent branding everywhere consumers interact with your company. A cohesive multi-platform strategy will captivate audiences of all types.

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Key Takeaways

To summarise some of the major insights covered:

  • Over half of connected devices in homes are now mobile as smartphones and tablets proliferate
  • Consumers fluidly switch between desktops and portable screens throughout purchase funnels
  • Early researchers often start journeys from their phone before transitioning to laptops for comparison
  • Marketers must operate with a cross-device mindset, not targeting platforms in isolation
  • Tactics like responsive designs, retargeting and personalised ads unify experiences
  • Track unique users as their contexts shift and engage them seamlessly across all channels

By understanding dynamic usage patterns and crafting multi-device solutions, you can stay in step with consumer behaviours in this era of always-on connectivity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some additional questions marketers may have:

  • How do I analyse which device(s) my customers use most during and after purchases?
    • Tools like Google Analytics allow you to see device usage and paths to conversion. Audit these.
  • What are some other effective retargeting strategies beyond search?
    • Remarketing displays, on-site retargeting through pixels, and incentivized email and social retargeting are all strong options.
  • How do I create truly responsive ads and images for any screen size?
    • Use percentage-based widths and heights, shape ads to dynamic canvas sizes, and utilise responsive image formats like SVG where possible.
  • How important is location targeting on mobile?
    • Location data provides powerful context for smartphones. However, always respect privacy and only use location with permission.
  • How can I encourage cross-device signups or logins?
    • Offer account synchronisation perks, cross-platform purchase continuity, unified profiles, and a better UX for signing in across smartphones, tablets, and computers.
  • What other free tools can help with tracking users across devices?
    • Google Analytics has cross-device capabilities. Adobe offers alternatives like Analytics and Launch for advanced tracking.

I hope these insights and best practices help provide a comprehensive understanding of the mobile landscape. Please let me know if any other questions come up!

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