A recent study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project reports that a whopping 39% of the adult population have seen the frequency of their online use grow as their reliance on mobile devices has increased. The report, “The Mobile Difference”, relates this increase in technology usage to be similar to the spike in telephone use that was experienced between 1980 and 1987. The spike in that instance was determined to be caused by the introduction of the answering machine. Once unanswered calls were now being returned, significantly accelerating American’s calling patterns.
The Mobile Difference study links the recent growth of frequency in online use to increasing broadband adoption, and to improving attitudes about how mobile access creates better availability for personal and business purposes. It breaks this group whom it calls “Motivated by Mobility” into several subgroups including: 8% Digital Collaborators, 7% Ambivalent Networkers, 7% Media Movers, 9% Roving Nodes, and 8% Mobile Newbies.
The study notes that 61% of the adult population claim that they do not feel the pull of mobility into the digital world. I certainly don’t fall into this group, as my iPhone and I are inseparable. Those who don’t feel the pull of mobility in the study, which they’ve labeled the “stationary Media Majority”, fit into several subgroups. 13% are Desktop Veterans, there are Drifting Surfers, Information Encumbered individuals, 10% Tech Indifferent, and 14% are lovingly nicknamed “Off the Network”. Some feel the off the network folks shy away from “even a little modern gadgetry”. I don’t know about you, but I’m wondering what cave these folks are hiding in?
So what does this information mean to you? Well for starters it means you need to start marketing to the mobile crowd. More and more are feeling the pull, and it goes without saying that your site should be easy to navigate on mobile devices. Optimizing your efforts for mobile search will also prove fruitful due to our growing reliance on mobile devices.
Have you seen your online marketing efforts change due to the pull? Check out the below commercial by Sprint and tell me you can’t feel the pull of mobile search and marketing!