How mobile changes user behaviour
Mobile is changing the world. Not only access to websites, but also user behaviour and engagement from brands. At Jobsite, the traffic via mobile devices (actual mobiles & the ipad, excludes other on the go computing devices) now stands at 5% of total visits – an increase of 630% in 18 months and double the traffic we receive from Yahoo & Bing combined. In a way, this growth is to be expected, but what I find really fascinating are the changes in user behaviour.
Let’s just look at the times of day when users of mobile devices (light blue line) access Jobsite versus total site traffic (dark blue line):
It clearly shows a change in user behaviour:
- They access the site during commuting times, especially in the morning between 7 and 9am.
- They access the site throughout the evening with a spike at around 10pm (when they are in bed).
I’m a heavy mobile user and it certainly matches my behaviour.
Let’s now fast forward a couple of years:
Even without the arrival of IPTV, but even more so if it is widely adopted, we’ll see a convergence of the different media platforms with the internet being the underlying “operating system” and the mobile being the connecting device between the different channels of engagement. Here are some specific changes that are very likely.
- Peak time viewing will shift from one peak between 6 – 11pm to two peaks with the second one between 7-9am. Interestingly, as we saw with the final episode of Lost, due to increased global connectivity, more series will start and end at the same time and will be co-ordinated throughout time zones and countries, which will result in a further re-definition of peak time.
- Event TV such as the Superbowl or the WorldCup will become even more important as it’ll guarantee bigger reach and therefore more imminent impact on brand performance.
- Connected devices – The convergence of carriers will speed up. One might start viewing a programme on TV, continue watching it on their mobile device on their way to work and watch the end on their PC at work – all devices are connected and interact with each other. The mobile acts as the facilitating device. TV channels will be in pole position to be the primary news providers, meaning print media will need to upgrade.
- Social TV – You all remember the so called “interactive TV” that the red button was associated with. Soon we’ll have true interactive TV in our living rooms. We’ll access our social media channels via the TV as well, which will lead to an even more integrated backchannel, maybe even integrated voting systems. It’ll certainly change market research beyond recognition, will shorten feedback loops and might even open up a truly integrated, user defined and decided program, similar to social gaming. For example, how about deciding the fate or decisions of TV characters or buying special clothes or superpowers for our hero or heroine via micro payments?
- Social media bans by companies will be useless as individuals will just access them via their mobile.
- The long tail we know from Google & co will extend to TV – the challenge of channel fragmentation will be replaced with time fragmentation.
- Convergence and channel neutrality will be the key words for media planning and creative development – video ads, video banners and TV advertising will merge.
- Executions of TV ads need to become much more tailored to the individual – think post dynamic behavioural targeted TV ads.
- A new measurement will be the norm. TV is all about TVRs, VOD about impressions – what will be the measurement that brings it all together?
- Image rights of actors within ads will need to change, especially if a more responsive and interactive element is added. Or they will be replaced with animation.
- Local and extremely targeted TV advertising will become feasible and attractive, even for smaller brands.
It’s kind of funny that TV – the broadcast medium par excellence – is in the strongest position and will become even stronger and more influential the more technology and its adoption advances. In the meantime, we all need to be on our toes as mobile is changing user behaviour and will present us with a lot of changes and a lot of opportunities. Watch this space.