Mobile takes central media role

7 November 2014

LONDON: Mobile plays a central role in pulling all media together and brands without a mobile-optimised site are in danger of losing customers according to new research.

A study for the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB), a trade organisation, polled 2,001 smartphone users aged 16-70 years in Britain and supplemented this with an online community forum, comprising 12 people who did three tasks over three days.

This showed that four in five (81%) smartphone owners use the internet on their mobile every day, a figure that rose to 90% among 25-34 year olds. For all those under 34 the smartphone was the device of choice for looking up product information.

Very often that use was triggered by traditional media, as 59% said these had prompted them to do more research on a mobile device during the preceding four weeks.

Hannah Bewley, IAB's Senior Research Manager, said this figure was proof that "mobile is the glue that holds other media together".

Not surprisingly, television led the way, with 43% of respondents looking up more information on either their phone or tablet after seeing something on TV. This compared to 28% for newspapers, 25% for outdoor and 21% for radio and magazines.

Again it is not a major revelation that advertisements were the main trigger in most of these media, with the exception of print where editorial content emerged as the main spur to action.

If these figures by themselves were not enough to persuade brands of the need to optimise their sites for mobile, the subsequent behaviour of consumers might give them pause for thought.

Just over half of respondents (52%) had visited a non-mobile optimised site during the previous month, and 69% said this was a "frustrating" experience.

Bewley also noted that 73% didn't bother looking on an alternative device if they reached a non-mobile-optimised site. "Brands without a mobile strategy are risking losing customers," she warned, adding that the study highlighted the need for consumers to be able to browse sites, research products and transact on the move.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff