January 20, 2012
NEW YORK – Smartphone activity continued to rise in the fourth quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of of 2012 with more men using mobile applications and Web browsing than they did in previous years, according to findings from a study by InsightExpress at Mobile Marketer’s Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2012 conference.
Male consumers ages 18-29 were highly active on mobile devices this year and they show no signs of stopping in 2012. Additionally, this entire generation is increasingly engaging with QR codes and will be looking for opportunities to scan.
“Mobile is going to be as natural as breathing,” said Joy Liuzzo, Washington-based vice president of InsightExpress, Stamford, CT. “Right now, we are raising a generation that knows nothing other than if you touch something it interacts with you.
“We’ve got a generation that is using the mobile phone for everything,” she said. “They don’t know anything other than having information at their fingertips.”
InsightExpress’ findings were based on three studies conducted during the fourth quarter of 2011 and first quarter of 2012.
Made for mobile
There will not be a large difference between mobile application and Web usage this year, according to Ms. Liuzzo.
Advancements in technology will cause consumers to expect rich media and content not only through a brand’s app, but on its mobile-optimized site as well.
Additionally, mobile commerce is set to take off in 2012. However, marketers will need to find a way to convince people that the mobile commerce platform is secure.
InsightExpress found that consumers between the ages 18-29 were the most active demographic in terms of smartphone usage in the past two quarters.
In fact, 33 percent of this segment used their smartphones for more than six activities per day. Activities include email, text, apps, Web browsing, social media and shopping.
Additionally, the research found that men were the most active consumers on mobile during the holiday season and were the most observant of mobile ads.
When asked whether or not they can remember seeing mobile ads, 69 percent of men could recall ads. This compares to only 46 percent of women.
Also, 53 percent of these men used their smartphones while in-store this holiday season to compare prices and check product reviews.
Men ages 18-29 can be a key target group for luxury marketers since these men are likely to be earning significant money of their own for the first time and will be looking to spend it on status symbols.
This age group also has relatively less financial responsibilities, such as family, than other affluent segments.
Practice makes perfect
InsightExpress also found that those consumers who are using six or more functions on their smartphone a day are the highest readers of traditional print media.
This means that QR codes are likely to have a very successful scan rate in the upcoming year, if they are done correctly.
Through a print ad survey comparison, Ms. Liuzzo was able to determine some best practice tips for brands wishing to venture into QR codes.
The actual QR code should be placed in the path of natural eye flow. Brands should not make consumers work to see it by placing an ad at the bottom of bus stop ads or on sky-high billboards.
Additionally, give the code a bit of space but not too much so that it is sticking out awkwardly by itself.
Brands should also tell consumers what they will get from the QR code. People will not play with you just because you want them too, Ms. Liuzzo said.
“Integrate the QR code into the ad -- the more it feels like a part of the ad, the better it will be,” Ms. Liuzzo said.
This information is particularly important for luxury marketers since these brands still rely on print ads in luxury lifestyle magazines such as Vanity Fair, Robb Report and W magazine.
“Folks relied more on their mobile phones than they even thought they would this holiday season,” Ms. Liuzzo said. “This behavior is not going to be isolated to the holidays now that consumers know how this worked for them.
“[Brands should] make sure they have other ways for folks to interact with them and anticipate that people will use mobile a heck of a lot more in 2012,” she said.
Joy Liuzzo, vice president of InsightExpress, Stamford, CT