Mobile Users Are Often Immobile

The attraction of mobile marketing has long been as a way to reach on-the-go consumers. But it turns out mobile marketing campaigns are increasingly reaching homebodies.

According to research conducted by mobile ad net Millennial Media, 40 percent of consumers spend time on mobile devices inside the home, using smartphones and tablets to amplify other channels. Consumers are watching television, listening to terrestrial radio and even reading hard copies of magazines with their mobile devices in hand. More than half of consumers said they spend time on their mobile devices using the Internet, using mobile apps, playing mobile games, listening to music and watching videos while at home.

The dual-screen experience is furthering this. Many consumers are using their cell phones while watching TV. A Nielsen/Yahoo study in January found 86 percent of people use their mobile phones while watching TV.

The growth of tablets, which are only mobile in a sense, is making this even more the case. According to Jeff Tannery, Millennial’s svp, publisher services, the research shows that tablets are eating into the market share previously held by gaming devices. Connected devices — like tablets — experienced a 13 percent growth, quarter-over-quarter and now account for 17 percent of the smartphone, feature phone and connected device mix.

In order to assist brands interested in targeting their ads to coincide with specific behaviors, Millennial has identified three mobile dayparts: the “mobile morning,” which runs from 5am to 12pm and skews heavily toward weather, traffic, news, health and fitness; the “mobile weekday,” which spans 9am to 7pm, during which travel and lifestyle, retail and business and finance are active categories; and “mobile primetime,” which runs from 5pm to midnight, during which mobile users are focused on social interaction and entertainment.

“Mobile doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” Mack McKelvey, Millennial’s svp of marketing, said. More and more, consumers are using their mobile devices during times when they are anything but mobile.

The retail and restaurant, pharmaceutical, automotive, entertainment and travel verticals all experienced triple-digit growth spurts. The finance vertical, powered largely by the insurance industry, led the pack with 1,095 percent growth.