The unification of four generations into one device-driven Impulse Generation is the evolutionary byproduct of our ever-growing infatuation with connectedness. We just can’t seem to put our phones down. In fact, the average smartphone user unlocks their phone 150 times a day and more than half of people can’t go one hour without checking their phones. Nearly half of Americans would rather give up one day off per week than give up their phones.
This radical obsession with mobile has saturated nearly every aspect of our daily lives and only further perpetuates the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. We are now more connected than we’ve ever been—to friends, to family, to brands and businesses—all thanks to a device that fits in the palm of our hand.
This need for constant connectedness is growing every minute and thus has major implications for brands that want to captivate and engage consumers in today’s digital age.
Mobile Isn’t Just for On-the-Go
We use our smartphones on the couch, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, and in bed. Nearly half of adults look at their phone within five minutes of waking up and 75% of Americans use their mobile phones on the toilet.
Mobile is no longer just an “on-the-go” convenience, it’s an everyday preference. These devices provide instant access to people, plans, entertainment and news—anytime, anywhere. And we’ve become addicted to them.
High Expectations for Mobile
As users become more and more accustomed to mobile, having strategically crafted digital marketing content, social campaigns, and user experiences for smaller screen sizes is critical to brand success. In fact, 85% of adults think that a company's website should be as good, or better, on mobile than it is on a desktop.
Mobile Use Cases
The modern smartphone has a plethora of capabilities and while the Impulse Generation uses their smartphones for a variety of tasks, these can be grouped into four main categories: communicating with others, killing time, searching for specific information, and transactions. This can be used as a helpful roadmap for digital marketers to ensure they are optimizing content for each major smartphone use case category.
Although communicating with others is the number one activity for mobile devices, it is predominantly relevant to mobile apps, such as social networking chats, text, and email. The other three use cases for mobile are particularly relevant for brands and businesses looking to meet their audience’s high expectations and need for quick satisfaction.
Brands can capitalize on this opportunity by providing engaging and timely content for consumers who are killing time. Content should be prioritized over UI elements and optimized for flatter navigation on smaller devices for users who are searching for specific information. It also requires the full capability to perform entire business transactions via smaller devices with the ability to save for seamless transitions from one device to another.
As the Impulse Generation evolves into quasi cyborgs, with computers in our pockets at all times, marketers must also evolve to meet the demands of this new era. As digital marketers, our mobile mindset needs to shift from on-the-go, to daily use regardless of activity.
Mobile is no longer just “mobile,” but rather just a smaller screen that’s always with us, allowing for unprecedented access and opportunity to create symbiotic digitally pervasive experiences for brands and their customers.