Information mobility is changing the way we think, work and live. As more and more people adopt increasingly more powerful and useful technologies, our habits, our expectations about productivity and the quality of our lives and our key relationships are changing too. In many cases these changes are in-motion before we are fully conscious of them or their implications.
New data from JiWire Mobile , based on the mobile services they provide via 450,000 public Wi-Fi locations in 144 countries, and survey results among 3700 responders to an iPass Mobile Workforce survey among 1100 enterprises begin to document significant changes in attitudes and behavior driven by the use of mobile devices.
Mobile workers seem to be extraordinarily wired. One in three checks e-mail first thing in the morning before showering, eating or dressing. Forty-three percent keep their mobile device at arm’s length when they sleep and more than half check the device during the night. Even during down time or “me” time 9 out of 10 mobile workers are checking their devices for e-mail or social network connections.
These guys work an average of 240 more hours a year than the average worker, which for a third understandably causes friction in their personal relationships with a spouse or a significant other. Mobility is a tether not an escape mechanism.
And yet a weird kind of behavioral standard is emerging even among those workers committed to their devices and linked to their jobs. Here’s a sampler from the evolving code of conduct …
- Taking a call on a mobile phone during a meeting is verboten.
- Checking your device during a face-to-face meeting or presentation is insulting.
- Texting or checking a device while driving is dangerous and hazardous to others.
- Looking at your device while out with friends is a bush league rude move.
- Calling or texting from a toilet in a public place is a matter of individual taste
Take these rules with a grain of salt since most survey responders admitted to violating these rules at least occasionally.
Among the same crowd 79 percent are comfortable making purchases on a mobile device, half for purchases of $100 or more and 71 percent research purchases made later online, by smartphone or at the point of sale. Everybody seems open to buying by phone but only 17 percent have actually made a purchase.
Local and location-based offers seem to be growing in popularity. 72 percent have purchased a local deal and two out of three are sharing local deals with friends using smartphones.
The number one on-the-go task is finding store locations. Then things seem to change by gender with men more likely to check-in and women seem more interested in connecting with others.
There are four implications for marketers from this new data.
- Make content mobile-friendly. If it doesn’t render properly you’re DOA.
- Think about the buying sequences. Imagine how customers find and compare your products or services online and what the likely patterns might be for buying it in-motion, buying it at a desktop or laptop or buying at a retail location. Then think about how you can accelerate the process or offer incentives that synch up with this new buying behavior.
- There is no more down time or boredom. A mobile device means you never have to be alone. If you are nervous, anxious or out of place, your mobile device gives you a way to reduce the stress, pretend to be more connected or popular than you really are or offers something to look at or click on when you don’t know what to say or do. Think about how your brand can fill this emotional or interstitial gap for customers.
- Focus on workflow and life flow. Think about timing messages and consider how consumers might respond to your content in the middle of the night, at the first sign of consciousness or before they hit the sack. Integrate message content and timing to align with how customers use these devices so that your brand becomes an expected and desired part of your customer’s lives.