New study shows mobile advertising a major ‘primer’ for millennials on path to purchase

MobileMobiles phones are increasingly the key “primer” for introducing consumers to products and helping drive conversion among millennial audiences, a new mobile study finds.

The new qualitative research, by OMD and NewsLifeMedia, charted the mobile usage of some 200 consumers for a fortnight showing that the mobile path to purchase often involves daily research, with evenings a key time of day for consumers aged 20-35 to be researching and looking to purchase.

“This was a window into how the day segmented and how mobile is a primer for generating demand,” Peter Horgan, CEO of OMD, told Mumbrella. “We are making a lot of decisions in the space on the back of claimed data but this allows us to be more confident with budget recommendations across our partners.”



NewsLifeMedia boss Nicole Sheffield added: “The time spent was the thing that stood out to me.

“They were not putting their phones down at all, it what the first thing they did when they woke up and it was the last thing they did before they went to bed.

“It didn’t matter if it was fashion, food, travel there some sought of purchase happening every day and there was also some sort of research happening everyday.”

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In a presentation OMD and NewsLifeMedia showed the usage habits and path to purchase of consumers in key categories such as groceries, travel and fashion and where mobile device fitted within that picture.

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“A lot of big brands were there (in mobile usage),” said Sheffield, “but there is also a long tail with the likes of Harris Farms coming up. Depending on where people lived you could tell that people had walked into a store.”

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The data also showed the key activities among millennials related to social were: recipe websites followed by discount coupons, texting a photo to friends, social site referrals and then Youtube.

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In the travel segment the study drew out the role of mobiles in stages to look at what part the devices played as people planned, purchased, enjoyed and return from their trips.



Carl Mclean director of OMD told Mumbrella the size of the study was built to be a qualitative study rather than presenting a macro view of millennial mobile usage.

“What is interesting to me is the complexity of the consumer journey”, said Mclean. “What we can now see is the complexity during the day and what we are asking now is what is really important.

“We want to target (consumers with advertising) in an authentic way and this is the first time I have seen what the journey in say groceries looks like in an authentic way.

“If you look at the overall arc you can see for example how the personal interest stuff skews to the end of the day.”

Mclean noted that in the coming months they would be pulling out the key moments of conversion for consumers.

“We want to know what are the key points of connection and what is just a check in,” he said pointing out typically Facebook was the most heavily used app for people.

PininterestSheffield noted that some social site usage was surprising citing the likes of Pinterest as really important in some key categories.

“The time spent on Pininterest was huge for some,” she said. “It wasn’t many of them but those that were were obsessive particularly in the homes category.”

Mclean added: “It is the psychology of usage – in the home category you can see the role that something like Pinterest plays. Consumers are thinking about their house, looking for those key moments.”

Nic Christensen 


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