Latest research into use patterns for smartphones shows they are key for reaching mums through digital marketing channels
Mothers in the US use their smartphones 11.4% more often than the average adult, according to an AOL study, while a separate survey from BabyCenter found this usage surging 34% over the past year.
Mothers with children under 5 were the biggest users, averaging 37 hours a week for browsing and using applications.
According to the report from BabyCenter conducted in September 2013 nearly half (46%) of mothers that used smartphones said they felt addicted to their smartphones, always keeping them at their sides as “backup brains” while on the go.
The BabyCenter research revealed that many activities related to such functions, such as using social media and looking at photos and videos, as well as those that helped mothers stay on top of the everyday—for example, checking the weather and managing productivity—surged in usage between 2011 and 2013.
With the exception of sports and gaming, all activities saw a leap in usage, most likely due to the increasing amount of time mothers spend with their phones.
In a similar study from AOL conducted in August 2013, mothers are using their smartphones 11.4% more frequently than the average adult smartphone user, spending 1,850 minutes per month with their phones.
Mothers with young kids (ages 5 and under) were the most active users, spending nearly 37 hours a week to apps and web browsing on their phones—more than mothers of older children, as well as males and females in general and even millennials.
AOL attributed this high usage to how smartphones helped new mothers adjust to tasks related to their new role, including managing multiple schedules, connecting with friends they had not seen recently, and looking up symptoms.
More than one-third reported rarely or never allowing their children to use their smartphones, while mothers said they turned to their phones over 20 times per day.
Instead, escapism (39%), social (23%), and shopping (12%)—the most popular functions among mothers glued to their mobiles, according to AOL—may be leading the charge.
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Key insights for marketers from the AOL report include:
• Moms of young kids spend so much time on their phones that mobile may be the first place they are exposed to new brands and products, especially as it relates to their kids.
• In order to engage with moms on mobile, play a role or several roles that tap into how she uses the phone to help her manage this transitional time in her life.
• Ultimately, the phone fills 7 different roles for moms of young children, but focus on Escape Hatch, Social Hub, and Personal Shopper because these are the biggest and thus represent the biggest opportunity for marketers and publishers.
o Social Hub: Moms use their phones as a Social Hub 48% more than the average adult by turning to social networking sites, social games and places where she can talk to other moms. This role takes place most in the morning, with another lesser peak in the evening. They are also shopping socially, using their phones to virtually “shop with their girlfriends” since they don’t have time to do that in person anymore.
o Escape Hatch: Sometimes she just needs a break from being a mom so she turns to her phone as an Escape Hatch. She does this 30% more than the average adult by visiting entertainment sites and apps, social, search, news, etc., primarily in the evening, presumably after the kids are in bed. She also escapes by getting in some retail therapy – shopping as an escape on her phone because the in store experience is not as therapeutic with kids in tow.
o Personal Shopper: She uses her phone as a Personal Shopper 30% more than the average adult, checking off items on her shopping list from toys to groceries to personal care products for her children. She is shopping on her phone pretty much all day via shopping related apps and sites and 68% of this shopping happens while she is at home.
Read the AOL report here