Consumers are adopting smartphones at faster and faster rates.  Last month Strategy Analytics reported that there are now 1 billion smartphones worldwide projecting to hit 2 billion by 2015.  Nielsen just published a report earlier in the summer that said more than half of mobile subscribers, 55%, now own a smartphone and that will continue to rise as 2 out of every 3 new subscribers are choosing smartphones.  Also, over 85% of these smartphones are either Androids or iPhones.  What else is interesting is that 56% prefer to access the internet on their smartphones OVER their computer! A recent O2 study found that they are spending over 2 hours per day using their smartphones doing the following things:

A large percentage of them are replacing other “machines” for this all in one all powerful smartphone.  Here are the top things they are doing in a recent O2 study:

  • Over half (54%) say they use their phones in place of an alarm clock
  • Almost half (46%) have dispensed with a watch in favor of using their smartphone
  • Two-in-five (39%) have switched to use their phone instead of a separate camera
  • Over one quarter use their phone instead of a laptop (28%)
  • One in ten have got shot of a games console in favor of their handset (11%)
  • Perhaps indicative of where things are moving, one in twenty smartphone users have switched to use their phone in place of a TV (6%) or reading physical books (6%)

They are also using it more and more to shop.  Another recent Nielsen study showed that 45 million people or 47% of all smartphone users used native iPhone or Android apps to shop.  They also found that these users are shopping regularly on their smartphones, turning to their shopping apps 17 times per month!  This is not just the occasional store locator search either.  74% are making a purchase based on the research being done on their smartphones!  Apps are becoming the preferred engagement mechanism for mobile.

Have you assessed the impact this is having on your digital marketing strategy yet?

Are you a leader or laggard?

A new study that TCS just came out with last month on how companies are responding to this found that the leaders in this area made the “digital mobile consumer” a separate, unique customer segment and created products and services specifically for them, while the laggards did not and just tried to make their current online assets look good on a mobile screen.  Companies in North America are also spending on average $1.43M per $1B in revenue on the technologies and business process changes to respond to this digital mobile consumer.

This trend is going to consume CMOs for the next few years as they figure out unique ways to engage with this group.  I’m starting a series of blogs starting this month that will dive into this more.  Stay tuned…