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ComScore exec: Digital omnivore is a challenge

CHICAGO ? A comScore executive at the Results 2013: Mobile Marketing Day said that with consumers not sitting behind desktops anymore, marketers are challenged to understand how users interact with new devices today.

The ?Implications for Publishers and Direct Marketers with the Consumer Move to Mobile? session revealed some data from comScore that points to trends that not only is Web traffic moving towards mobile, but also which categories and publishers are seeing the biggest shift. Additionally, data on multiplatform trends was also presented.

?The real challenge here now today in this world is we?re not sitting behind a device anymore, we?re not sitting behind that PC,? said Christy Cole, vice president of agency and mobile at comScore, Reston, VA.

?The challenge is figuring out that digital omnivore and that person that?s connected to a device 24/7 and not just one device,? she said.

Results 2013: Mobile Marketing Day was hosted by the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing. The event was co-sponsored by Microsoft, Sumotext and Mobile Marketer.

Connected users
Multi-device consumers are the new normal for marketers.

For example, comScore claims that there are 113 million smartphone users, 52 million tablet users and 220 million desktop users.

The unduplicated audience across all of these screens is 235 million users.

?This is going to cause hopefully some challenges but also some opportunities for publishers,? Ms. Cole said.

Additionally, smartphone ownership continues to grow, especially in the United States. Per comScore, 53.8 percent ? or 125.9 million consumers ? in the U.S. owned smartphones as of Dec. 2012. This is a 29 percent year-over-year growth.

Seventy-two percent of newly-acquired mobile phones in Dec.2012 were smartphones.

Unsurprisingly, iOS and Android dominate now, showing how quickly the market changes. Ten years ago the big player was Symbian, for example.

Microsoft and BlackBerry are dueling for the third spot right now, per Ms. Cole.

Publish on mobile
Most consumers nowadays are cross-platform device owners that use media simultaneously, which is a big challenge for marketers.

For example, 36 percent of all tablet users are iPhone owners and 53 percent are Android owners.

Additionally, 60 percent of iPad owners also used an iPhone while only 29 percent of Android tablet users owned an iPhone.

Seventy-four percent of tablet owners use their devices in the bedroom. Seventy percent use them in the living room, when they are most likely multitasking with print, television or online media.

Roughly 13 percent of Internet traffic comes from mobile devices with year-over-year growth totaling 173 percent for tablets and 67 percent for smartphones.

PCs still bring in the lion?s share of online traffic ? 87 percent ? but traffic from the devices also decreased by six percent year-over-year.

When it comes to a split in time spent, PCs generate 63 percent of time spent with the remaining 37 percent of time spent coming from mobile devices ? particularly from applications.

Additionally, video is exploding on mobile devices. The number of total mobile unique viewers increased 262 percent year-over-year as of Dec. 2012. Online video on the other hand only increased by 8 percent.

Although only 19.4 percent of consumers use their smartphones to directly shop, this group of users are active shoppers. Roughly 14 percent of the group made daily transactions for non-digital goods, and 31 percent shop via their mobile devices once a week.

The remaining 55 percent of consumers shopped from their devices one to three times per month.

Moreover, 52.4 percent of U.S. smartphone owners use their devices for shopping activities while they are in-store.

?It is a big disruption and for the retailers, they are learning ? the best example is probably Walmart and they do know when you are in their store and have their app and they are going to make sure that you are walking out with their product,? Ms. Cole said.

Final Take
Christy Cole is vice president of agency and mobile at comScore, Reston, VA