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Millennial moms spend more time online via mobile than desktop: report

Underscoring mobile?s role as the primary way to reach millennial moms, new research shows this group?s smartphone ownership outpaces desktop and laptop computers, with more time spent online via phones. 

The report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and BabyCenter also reveals that time spent on mobile exceeds or approaches parity with time spent watching television in the United States, Brazil, Canada, China and Britain. The comparison of the technology habits and media behaviors of moms between the ages of 18 and 32 points to the importance for brands of leveraging mobile to reach this coveted demographic group. 

?I found it surprising just how much millennial moms reported mobile as being central to their lives,? said Joe Laszlo, senior director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB, New York. 

?I realize that?s a funny statement given that I?m a mobile guy and we all know millennials are the mobile-first generation, but still, the fact that more US millennial moms own a smartphone than own a PC or laptop really vividly drives home that point,? he said. 

?The fact that US millennial moms report spending more time with mobile media than with TV-based media is also surprising - and this was true in four of the five countries we looked at.  This drives home both how mobile is central to millennials? lives, but also how important flexibility and portability are in helping moms fit a medium into their busy lives.?

Smartphone savvy
The report, ?2015 State of Modern Motherhood: Mobile and Media in the Lives of Moms,? found that millennial moms are spending 35 percent more time online via their smartphones than online via laptop or desktop computers. 

Additionally, smartphone ownership for this group is increasing. 

In the U.S., 90 percent of millennial moms own a smartphone today, up from 65 percent in 2012. In Brazil, 76 percent own a smartphone, up from 25 percent. In Canada, 94 percent own a smartphone while 95 percent do so in China and 93 percent in Britain. 

Tablet ownership is also on the rise, reaching 50 percent in China ? up from 15 percent in 2012 ? and 66 percent in Britain, up from 18 percent. 

Other findings include that U.S. millennial moms are spending more time with media overall due to mobile, at a rate of 8.9 hours daily today vs. 8.3 hours daily in 2013. This group spends 2.8 hours on mobile vs. 2.3 hours with TV. 

Mobile usage also eclipses TV watching in Brazil, Canada and China. In Britain, mobile numbers are approaching parity with TV.

U.S. millennial moms are also spending less time surfing the Web from a computer, having spent 1.7 hours in 2014 compared with 2.1 hours in 2013. 

Messaging preferences
The report also showcases different preferences for how to receive messaging by country. 
Digital ads featuring deals, sales, or money saving offers do a better job of grabbing the attention of millennial mothers in the U.S., Brazil, Canada, and Britain compared to ads that are relevant based on the recipient?s life stage or child?s age. 

In China, moms found both types of ads equally attention-getting. 

In terms of creative 76 percent of moms in the U.S. said that visuals of a family together would be most likely to catch their eye in interactive marketing. In China, only 46 percent find this type of imagery engaging. 

Additionally, 76 percent of moms in Brazil said that an image of a mom holding a baby in her arms would be more likely to get their notice. In Britain, only 64 percent would respond to this type of imagery. 

Native advertising
On the topic of native advertising, the research found that brand sponsorship of online content is unlikely to inspire trust in the content, especially in the U.S. and Canada. 

However, more than half of all moms surveyed across all five countries said that if the sponsored articles and videos were high quality, the content would improve their perception of the brand. 

?If marketers take one key data point away from this study, it needs to be that mobile is must in their marketing mix if they want to reach today's mom,? said Julie Michaelson, vice president of sales at BabyCenter, San Francisco. ?But what's critical to understand is that their approaches need to be adapted market-to-market, if they want to effectively capture moms' attention and loyalty on global scale. 

?The research underscores that while messaging might be able to be similar across borders, imagery in creative needs to be tailored to suit local preferences and interests,? she said. ?That said, moms in all five countries we studied were clear about what's most important when it comes to native advertising - quality. 

?The messaging and creative specifics should vary within different nations, but there is no question that well-produced and informative sponsored content can be a win for brands around the world.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York