NEW YORK: Consumers of alcoholic beverages tend to be more attached to their mobile devices than the rest of the US population with millennials featuring prominently, a combination that offers a great opportunity for drinks brands a new report has said.

A white paper from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), The IAB Digital Mixology Playbook, offers advice on reaching drinkers via digital screens and also includes exclusive research from IAB and Prosper Insights.

Among their findings are that those adults who plan to spend more on liquor, wine or beer in the next 90 days are heavy users of mobile devices, and more than half of those (55%) are also millennials – "a potent mix", according to Anna Bager, vp/Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB.

In addition, some 83% of drinkers own smartphones, compared to just 65% of the US population as a whole; one in three go so far as to say their mobile phone "is their life". The ownership trend extends to tablets, with 52% of drinkers owning one compared to 43% of Americans aged over 21.

These consumers are also much more likely than the general population to make purchases on mobile devices (38% vs 25%) and to use mobile coupons (32% vs 26%) or text offers (49% vs 40%).

"The liquor industry has long been associated with all that is social, and digital marketing is a prime platform for extending and reinforcing engagement opportunities," said Sherrill Mane, evp/research, analytics and measurement, IAB.

The white paper observes that with many of the target audience being millennials, liquor drinks brands should be thinking in terms of reaching them through interactive, relevant digital communications timed to their after-work or nightlife moments.

Foursquare, the location-based social networking platform, has a clear interest in this area but even it may have been surprised to see its revenue from spirits brands up 600% for the first two quarters of 2014 compared to the whole of 2013.

"Adult consumers have a drink in one hand and their mobile phone in their other hand," noted Steven Rosenblatt, Chief Revenue Officer, Foursquare, who stressed the importance of securing "that last impression with the consumer when they are ordering the drink or at the last 100 feet to the bar".

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff