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Mobile Is A Central Part Of Everyday Life, Study Shows

This article is part of our February 2019 series about mobile. Click here for more.

Mobile devices were once solely used for communication. Now they’re used for networking, gaming, getting directions, tracking health, shopping, and more. It’s no stretch to say smartphones have become a necessity for everyday life.

That’s the key finding of a study by Adobe, which surveyed more than 1,000 adults in the U.S. who own a smartphone. (CMO.com is owned by Adobe.) Their reliance on mobile devices is real: Eighty-nine percent agreed strongly that they need a device while on the go, while one-fifth of respondents stated they cannot live without their devices.  

“The reliance and heavy usage of mobile phones creates a huge opportunity for brands to create and curate mobile-first customer experiences,” said Bridgette Darling, product marketing manager at Adobe. “If your business sells a product, a mobile presence that the customer can engage with is key. So is the need to do it right, stand out, and make them remember the experience.”

Mobile Is Central To The Consumer’s Day
The Adobe study found more than half (54%) of consumers rely on their smartphones when they’re home. These devices are being used for highly personal activities via mobile apps, email, Web browsers, texts, and calls. Mobile is no longer simply a channel but an extension of the consumer.

Mobile app use, in particular, is on the rise as consumers depend more on their phones to get tasks done. A whopping 55% of consumers said they choose a mobile app over a mobile Web browsing experience, according to the study, which also found an increase in the use of mobile apps in the past 12 to 24 months for banking (39% more), scanning documents (34% more), and sending money (29% more).

“The best brands have figured out how to make their mobile app useful and personal—it enhances the consumer’s experiences rather than being an extra tap, click, or task,” Darling told CMO.com. “Brands should look to create apps that are compelling enough to earn the initial download and also useful enough for consumers to want to use all the time.”

What’s more, mobile has become the preferred method for shopping-related activities. Among them: to peruse electronics (49%), bank (47%), order food (46%), research a trip (42%), and browse for clothes (39%). 

Right Content, Right Time
With an inundation of ads into the mobile experience, more than 50% of consumers said the offers they receive are simply OK, and less than 20% of consumers feel that most offers they receive are relevant. This is a missed opportunity for brand marketers. Done right, these instances, aka “mobile moments,” can enable a brand to provide an experience that make customers’ lives easier, thereby increasingly the odds they’ll return to engage.

On the flip side, just OK mobile moments equate to slower growth and less loyal customers. Customers want a stellar experience, and that includes when and how they’re served ads. Almost half of consumers surveyed stated they want offers for the products that they’re interested in (personalized ads) and for the ads to be less intrusive.

Having a technology infrastructure that communicates with all of a company’s systems and provide visibility into the customer journey is crucial for brands looking to nail mobile-moment timing for their content, Darling explained. “A cross-channel strategy must include integrating mobile to achieve serving the right content at the right time,” she said. 

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