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The Generation Game, why we don't all use our phone the same way

by  David Dwyer on  01/12/2015

The Generation Game | Mobile Phone use by age group infographic

We’re quite partial to an Infographic at Inspire, so when I stumbled across this one it really caught my attention. We’ve written quite a bit about Mobile Websites and the changing relationship with our mobile devices but this takes a look from a different perspective.

In a nutshell - it shows how different generations interact with their mobile phones. As you can see from the Infographic - there really is a distinct difference between the demographics.

Here’s our Top 4 Insights from this research that peaked our interest. Have a think about your own target audience and if you do any form of mobile marketing, is there a way you can change your focus to appeal to your market?

Mobile Infographic

Key Point 1
‘18-34 year olds don’t text as much - favouring instead IM services such as FB messenger & WhatsApp.’

In the research only 79% of 18–34 year olds use sms text. Now of course that sounds quite high, but not when you compare it to the fact that 93% of those aged 55–64 text.

It's not that long ago that I remember watching friends and family that fall into the ‘older generation’ category torture themselves trying to construct even the shortest of texts.

The 18–34 group are now much more likely to be using WhatsApp and other Instant Messaging platforms for their shorter form communication.

Key Point 2
’The Oldies Love Their Games!’

On the surface this one would seem to defy convention but the research shows that the older age groups play more games than their younger counterparts. It would be interesting to see the younger age group - under the age of 18, as I’m sure that figure would be significantly higher than the 45+ age group.

However it's not so strange when you think that 32 years ago the ZX Spectrum launched, targeting both the tech enthusiast and the 9-25 year old market. That age group is now 41-57 years old.

But still the research is of interest. If you’re targeting an older demographic through mobile marketing, potentially ‘gamification’ in some form could be a viable strategy.

(For another perspective on the ‘Stickiness factor’ read our blog post about 'You've got to scroll with it - Death of Website Pagination'  

Key Point 3
‘Shopping via Mobile Apps is low across the board’

It surprises us that despite the big budgets, major online retailers still haven’t cracked the mobile application shopping experience. But when I think about it, my own personal behaviour is probably reflected by others.

The best example of a completely mobile approach to mobile e-commerce comes from India. Myntra, (www.myntra.com/) is India’s biggest fashion retailer. And unusually if you visit the site from a desktop or laptop machine – you can’t purchase items. Instead you are redirected to download their app.

They’re obviously missing out on a huge 'current' audience of desktop users and it will be interesting to see how it develops as they force users to move to their App. It's clear they are looking for a "First Mover Advantage" and the benefit of greater consumer conversion rates via Push Notifications.

What we will say is this – it doesn’t appear to have harmed them so far!

Key Point 4
‘The 18–34 love to take and share Photo & Video content’

Whether it’s photographs on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest; or videos on YouTube, the 18–34 year old age group is passionate about sharing the content they produce and find. They are curators. They find images or videos that entertain, inspire, educate and then share with their friends.

Add to that the growing popularity of Live Video streaming services such as Persiscope and Blab, as well as the likes of Vine and SnapChat - and it’s clear that the under 34 age group has no shortage of video platforms to feed their video sharing habit.

So what does this mean for you and your business?

Firstly, let’s state the obvious - nearly everyone uses mobile devices and by all forecasts, statistics and measures, that trend is only going to continue. And to get a view of what the future might look like, we just have to look at what’s happening in present day South Korea. They have the highest internet connection rates in the World with now 74% of the population preferring to access the internet from their mobile.

There is a danger though, in being too generic about how you approach your mobile marketing strategy. You need to appreciate that mobile phone use varies greatly by Age. Why is this important - if you target a specific age group then it makes sense to serve content & develop mobile sites and applications that take into account these differences.

If you’re targeting 20 somethings then a photo or video sharing element would make sense. Or if you’re targeting the ‘older’ generation is there a way to gamify your content?

Does your business have a mobile marketing strategy? What works for you? We’d be interested to hear how you’ve adapted your strategy to target your ideal audience.

NOTE: If you come across an interesting web development, web design or digital marketing related Infographic or video - we’d love it if you’d share with us.

e-Marketing, Graphic Design, Infographics, Inspire Web Services, m-commerce, Mobile Apps, Mobile Commerce, Mobile Websites, Responsive Web Design, Sticky Websites, The Evolving Web, Web Design
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