We’ve all seen this creature in the wild: iPhone resting on cheek, iPad perched on knees, eyes wild with an information fever. It’s the Digital Omnivore. And legions of them are about to take over the mobile world.
According to comScore’s February 2012 “2012 Mobile Future in Focus” report, mobile users in the U.S. are quickly adopting a multi-technology approach – adding tablets or e-readers to an arsenal of smartphones and laptops at an accelerating rate. By the end of 2011, nearly 15 percent of all mobile users also had tablets.
Their legions grow
comScore’s February report underscores the incredible adoption rate smartphones and tablets are undergoing:
- By December 2011, eight percent of all Internet traffic was generated by smartphones, tablets and other web-enabled mobile devices.
- There were 98 million smartphones, 42 percent of the U.S. mobile market.
- For the first time, in July 2011, smartphones outsold call-only phones.
- Nearly 70 million tablets were sold in 2011, a feat that took smartphones seven years to achieve.
comScore reports that the Apple iPhone was the top acquired phone in the U.S. in 2011 and Apple smartphones dominated the top five of all smartphones purchased.
- Smartphone users are evenly split among males and females. 25 to 34 year olds comprise the largest market segment.
- Other fast growing segments included:
- Six-member households.
- Those making less than $25,000 annually.
- The 55 to 64 age bracket.
- Health information was the top growing content category in 2011.
They must be fed
And how are mobile device owners using their technology? comScore’s report indicates that “more than half of mobile subscribers used mobile media (browsing the mobile web, accessing applications or downloading content) by the end of Q3 2011.”
- 47.6 percent used apps.
- 35 percent accessed social networking sites – of these, half report “almost daily” visits.
- 1 in 5 scanned a QR code.
Among those using social networking, the most popular activities included reading others’ posts and posting status updates. Importantly, half of all users reported reading posts from brands. 32 percent reported clicking on advertisements while on social networking sites.
They need love and attention
These trends will continue in 2012 and we believe organizations and brands must pay close attention to the care and feeding of Digital Omnivores. Although the care manual continues to evolve, here are several key recommendations:
- Find ways to integrate digital components into every marketing campaign.
- Bridge traditional marketing elements (like direct response pieces) with the online world by using QR codes.
- Create and cultivate content that is quickly and easily digested on a mobile device.
- Time social media posts throughout the day and later in the evening. Digital Omnivores tend to take quick hits on social networking sites (via a smartphone) throughout the work day, then fire up the tablet just before bedtime.
- Consider an app for that – or at least a dedicated, mobilefied website/microsite/landing page.
Digital Omnivores have a voracious appetite for technology and information. Proceed with caution, but proceed nonetheless.