Younger Consumers are Best Targets for Mobile Ad Campaigns

We’ve heard a lot about consumers spending their leisure time in front of two or even three screens simultaneously. But how prevalent is this practice and how can marketers use this consumer trend to their advantage? A new survey from GfK shows who is mostly likely to be multi-​screening and what these consumers think about ads.

Prime time TV is not enough to engage the hyperactive minds of Gen Y consumers. So 66% of them are also using smartphones and 53% are using tablets at the same time. The number of Gen Xers who frequently use their smartphones while watching TV stands at 56%. About 48% of Gen Xers also work with their tablets while watching TV. Younger Baby Boomers (ages 47–54) are less likely to enjoy multi-​screening. While watching TV, only 35% of this group use their smartphones and 48% use their tablets.

How likely is the small screen to entirely replace traditional TV viewing? In this survey, mobile viewing correlated pretty well with age. Younger consumers watch more short and long TV content on their phones and rate the experience more positively. Here’s who is watching TV on their smartphones:

  • Gen X 44%
  • Gen Y 24%
  • Baby Boomers 17%

However, only 21% of all smartphone users have ever watched video such as a TV program or movie on these devices. It appears consumers prefer to engage with other types of content on their phones and tablets. This change in consumer behavior could eventually impact the number of people watching traditional TV. Currently, about 15% of smartphone owners and 24% of tablet owners report “watching less TV overall.”

As the market changes, advertisers and other service providers in the mobile content value chain have begun to serve up ads to cover their costs and generate a profit. Consumers are noticing and 70% report that the presence of these ads interferes with ‘their enjoyment’. But they also acknowledge that putting up with ads is worth getting access to this content. 80% of mobile users agree that they are willing to give up a permanent but small space on their screen in order to have free content.

Will these consumers make a purchase as a result of these ads? So far, only 14% of surveyed mobile device owners say ads have influenced them but the market is still developing. Marketers who take the mobile plunge now may attract consumers attention and generate sales.

[Source: Generations X, Y Adopt Smartphones as Media Hubs. Gfkamerica​.com. 31 Jul. 2012. Web. 17 Aug. 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.