Yes, We’re Addicted: How Mobile Ownership Is Changing The Ad World

by Sandra Rand 3 years ago

Welcome to the first of our four part series on how mobile is the format of the future.

How can we be so sure that the revolution will be mobilized? Let us show you.




Of people who can access the internet around the world, 87% have smartphones. Even amongst the general population, the global ownership of smartphones is almost 50%.

In the United States, 68% of adults own smartphones, and research shows there’s no statistically significant difference in ownership between racial and ethnic groups.

Just looking at cellphones generally, 92% of American adults own a cell phone. When you look at the 18-29 age group, that number leaps to 98%.

And it’s not that our overall number of tech devices have been increasing. Ownership for desktops and laptops have stagnated and ownership of e-readers and tablets have actually decreased.

Only smartphone ownership has increased consistently, year over year.




Using our mobile has crept its way into almost every aspect of our lives. American adults have increased their average daily time on their mobiles by 47%.

During that same time period, their daily TV intake has decreased 12%. And in worse news for TV advertisers, most Generation X and Millennial adults say they use their mobile or digital devices while watching TV.

Bottom line? No matter what we’re doing, most of us are paying attention to our mobile device.




It may not be in the DSM yet, but the numbers show that American adults are pretty addicted to using their mobile phones.

Almost three-quarters of smartphone owners in the United States say they keep their smartphone on them at all times.

Even more ridiculous (and I include myself in that) is the fact that almost half of us check our phones upwards of 30 times a day. When you narrow that to just the Millennial age group, that percentage grows to 62%.

We often don’t even make it out of bed before we reach for our phones. When polled, 44% of Americans aged 19-34 said they check their phone and/or email before they do anything else in the morning.

And if it’s not email, 87% say they are checking either Facebook or Instagram first. Because clearly, nothing is more important at 6am than seeing the latest status updates.

We can’t even leave the house without reaching out into the internet world. A whopping 83% of that same age group check their phones before leaving home.



[Otherwise known as “What’s In It For Me?”]


As with anything else, you may be wondering why these numbers matter for marketing.

Or you may be like me, who despises math, and has an aversion to seeing so many numbers.

Either way, I promise this is important, to both you and your company.



REASON #1: Your Customers Consume Mobile More Quickly

People consume content on a mobile almost 50% faster than they do viewing it on a desktop.

And when it comes to ads, ad recall on mobile news feed content happens after only 0.25 seconds of exposure.

Therefore, having ads appear on mobile can significantly increase your brand awareness and ROI.


REASON #2: Your Customers Are Continuing To Spend More Time On Mobile

The time Millennials are spending on mobile just continues to increase with every passing year.

In four years, Millennials have almost doubled their time spent on mobiles daily, from 1.78 hours to 3.14 hours.

Global Web Index even laid down the gauntlet by saying that “mobiles are on course to capture more daily time than all other devices put together.”

Don’t you want to be your where customers are spending the majority of their time?


REASON #3: Mobile E-Commerce is Exploding

If you’re an e-commerce brand, then you absolutely must jump on the mobile train. The website eMarketer predicts that retail mcommerce (aka mobile e-commerce) in the US will reach a staggering $123.14 billion this year.

That is a 39% increase from the mcommerce sales of 2015, and a more than 50% increase from 2014 mcommerce sales.

In fact, if the numbers continue at this pace, eMarketer shows that mcommerce will account for almost 33% of all retail ecommerce sales in 2016.

If mobile is where almost one third of your potential customers are buying products, don’t you want to join that party?




In the way that Shakira’s hips don’t lie, neither do these numbers.

We are in for a mobile makeover in advertising and e-commerce. Make sure you are leading the charge towards this new era, or risk being left behind.