Joint Study From AOL And BBDO Turns Traditional View of Mobile Space on its Head

NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A joint study by AOL Inc. and BBDO reveals that 68% of consumer mobile phone use occurs in the home. By mining beneath the surface of "what" people are doing with their smartphones to better understand the "why" behind those mobile actions, this study uncovered several insights that run counter to the traditional view of the mobile space. The research shows that there is untapped value for brands when they look beyond the conventional view of what consumers do on their smartphones. The announcement was made at Advertising Week 2012 taking place in New York City, October 1-5, 2012.

The study, conducted by research firm InsightsNow, implemented a unique three-phase approach that looked at consumer usage of mobile from qualitative, quantitative and ethnographic perspectives. Smartphone users completed a seven-day diary, making video recordings throughout the day as they used their phones. This was followed by in-depth interviews and a survey conducted among 1,000 smartphone users from June to August, 2012. Arbitron Mobile Oy's, a subsidiary of Arbitron Inc., Arbitron Mobile Trends Panels™ service was used to track a mobile panel for a 30-day period. The panel was used to track user behavior and clickstreams in the US, across mobile web, apps, and other mobile services. The result was a database of over 3,000 mobile interactions or moments. These moments (which excluded email, SMS and voice calls) were then segmented according to the underlying needs and motivations of the participants. By using this approach, the research was able to uncover which user needs are fulfilled by a surprisingly wide variety of mobile interactions.

Among the key findings:

1. Mobile isn't always on the go. In fact, well over half of all mobile interactions measured in the research occur in the home, challenging conventional wisdom.

2. These mobile interactions can be segmented into seven distinct "mobile motivations" that encompass most mobile use. These include:

a. Accomplish - managing activities and lifestyle to gain a sense of accomplishment
b. Socialize - active interaction with other people
c. Prepare - active planning in order to be prepared for upcoming activities
d.Me Time - seeking relaxation and entertainment in order to indulge oneself or pass the time
e. Discover - seeking news and information
f. Shop - focusing on finding a product or service
g.Express Myself -participating in passions and interests

3. Me Time is by far the biggest "Mobile Motivation." Me Time accounts for almost half (46%) of all smartphone app and website motivation, averaging 864 minutes per month per user, per Arbitron Mobile. Seventy percent of these moments are lean-back experiences.

4. Mobile advertising performs poorly in Me Time on key ad effectiveness metrics. This is because the vast majority of messages are not relevant to the use at that time, are easy to ignore, or get in the way.

Based on these findings, AOL and BBDO have identified the following recommended actions to help marketers, agencies and brands improve their mobile interactions with consumers:

  1. Think about mobile as part of something bigger. Move beyond the conventional surface view of mobile behaviors to align your messaging with the underlying motivators that propel mobile interactions.
  2. Focus on "Me Time." Think about ways you can redirect mobile communications to help users indulge and enjoy themselves.
  3. Recognize there are other mobile motivations. Targeting communications to capitalize on these motivators can increase engagement.

"Many in the industry tend to focus their messaging on the nature of the devices consumers are using, as opposed to the mindset they are in when using the device" said Christian Kugel, VP, Consumer Analytics and Research at AOL. "This study was designed to uncover what's going on beneath the surface so that marketers can better understand what roles smartphones actually play in the lives of consumers. That includes realizing that much of use occurs when people are on their couches, not away from home."

Added Simon Bond, BBDO's Chief Marketing Officer, "In the end, it's all about helping agencies and creatives create the most compelling content. And based on our findings, that compelling content should be me-based, home-based, entertainment-based, not solely geo-location based."

Additional findings from this study are scheduled to be revealed at the Mobile Marketing Association's "Smarter Mobile Marketing" Conference on October 3, which is being held as part of Advertising Week 2012 in New York City.

AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL) is a brand company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. The home of a world-class collection of premium brands, AOL creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale. We help marketers connect with these audiences through effective and engaging digital advertising solutions.

BBDO's mantra is "The Work. The Work. The Work." Every day, people in 289 offices in 81 countries work job by job and client by client, to create and deliver the world's most compelling commercial content. BBDO was named 2011 Global Agency of the Year by both Adweek and Campaign magazines and, for the past six years in a row, has been recognized as the world's most creative agency network in The Gunn Report. BBDO is also the number one ranked network across all marketing communication platforms in the Directory Big Won and has been named Network of the Year at Cannes five times. In 2011, BBDO was named the world's most Effective Agency Network in the inaugural Effie Effectiveness Index.

BBDO is part of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE-OMC) (, a leading global marketing and corporate communications company.

InsightsNow, Inc. takes a behavior-driven approach to understanding consumer wants, needs and desires, and applies this to support many of the world's largest consumer brands. Through its BehaviorLens Framework (, InsightsNow works with brands to establish go-to-market strategies for both positioning and innovation, grounding cross-functional teams with a common, actionable view of the market. This is applied across initiatives, as brands execute behavior-driven strategies. Learn more at