Winning over your mobile audience

Marketing research into how people use their smartphones reveals powerful insights into the role of mobile in the purchasing journey, says Matt White, UK managing director at Quantcast


A third of online purchases are now on mobile, according to eMarketer. Unsurprising, perhaps, since Ofcom says 93 per cent of the UK population has a smartphone. The mobile channel has come a long way, yet marketers are still playing catch-up and, as such, are apprehensive. Do people take notice of ads on mobile? Do they buy on their mobiles or turn to their desktop for online shopping? This confusion about mobile threatens to damage the ability of brands to engage with their customers.

To further understand the device-agnostic consumer, we undertook research that sheds new light on the way people use their smartphones. The findings offer powerful insights into the role of mobile in the purchase journey, from initial research all the way through to tapping the buy button.

We looked at a number of vertical industries, including retail, entertainment and finance, and analysed consumer behaviour across hundreds of millions of mobile, web and app destinations. Our research revealed three significant themes for mobile marketers. Firstly, audiences on desktop differ to those on mobile both in demographics and purchase behaviour. Secondly, time of day hugely affects the rate that consumers purchase on mobile. And finally, we found that mobile devices hold a vital place in the journey to purchase as a research tool before consumers buy goods and services.

Insight into the audiences on different devices is important for any marketer endeavouring to achieve the highest relevance at every consumer touchpoint. For one travel client, desktop airline ticket customers were mainly middle-aged, affluent men buying business flights to Dubai. Conversely, those buying flights via mobile were less-affluent, younger women, with children, purchasing cheaper, regular flights from London to Delhi. Two completely different devices with completely different audiences that need completely different tailored marketing messages.

Quantcast’s real-time insights into the way people use digital devices are a real boon to marketers looking to increase their mobile advertising budgets

Equally important, while desktop sees constant activity, our research showed that the time of day greatly affects people’s likelihood to buy on mobile. This creates a need for a mindset shift for the mobile marketer. Purchases on mobile are 20 per cent more likely for people using their mobiles between 10pm and 4am, 50 per cent more likely during the morning commute between 8am and 10am, and 30 per cent more likely in the afternoon commute between 4pm and 6pm.

Marketers must consider the entire path to purchase, not just the purchase itself. No matter the product, mobile is an important tool for researching potential purchases. Our research shows on average there is a 2:1 relationship between mobile research and conversions. Each 2 per cent increase in the amount of mobile research translates to a 1 per cent increase in the amount of mobile conversions. In the education sector, 11 per cent of purchases happen on mobile, yet 21 per cent of research happens on mobile.

For marketers the insights that real-time data provides are invaluable. Though mobile may be a relatively new channel the rules are essentially the same – understand your customer and how they undertake their journey to purchase, and it will be clear where mobile slots into your wider marketing campaign.

Quantcast’s real-time insights into the way people use digital devices are a real boon to marketers looking to increase their mobile advertising budgets. Brands can use this research to create a pathway to success and discover how to slot mobile into their wider marketing campaigns.

Learn more by visiting www.quantcast.co.uk or meet us at Mobile World Congress 2016, we’ll be in Hall 8.1, stand 8.1B11