By Rieva Lesonsky
What are mobile technology users doing with their devices? A new Gartner report, Survey Analysis: Early Tablet Adopters and Their Daily Use of Connected Devices, found that five online activities are rapidly moving from the PC to the tablet: checking email (81 percent of respondents), reading news (69 percent), checking weather forecast (63 percent), social networking (62 percent) and gaming (60 percent).
So far, tablet users aren’t totally abandoning one device for another. Instead, they switch back and forth between PCs/laptops, tablets and mobile phones, using whichever is most convenient at the time. However, one key trend Gartner noted is that PC and laptop use on weekends has declined by 20 percent.
When tablet owners are at home, tablets dominate their tech usage, with most tablet use occurring in the living room (87 percent), the bedroom (65 percent) and the kitchen (47 percent). Weekday evenings are the most popular time to use tablets; the weekends are less popular for them as people are generally away from home.
Tablet users buy them because they’re small, lightweight and convenient compared to PCs or laptops. Interestingly, nearly half (45 percent) of tablet owners never share the device, making them nearly as personal as a mobile phone for many users.
The study found both similiarities and differences in how male and female tablet owners use their mobile devices. Both men and women were more likely to go online at home than anywhere else. When they do, they use the Internet for research, shopping, learning and socializing.
However, the women in the study were significantly less likely than men to go online when outside the home. One reason for this might be that men generally like to use devices to get information (such as look up stores or research products), while women are more likely to use their devices more for social or entertainment reasons, such aso going on Facebook or playing online games.
What do these results mean for your business marketing?
Timing matters. If sending marketing messages on weekends or during the evening, keep in mind consumers are more likely to be viewing them on mobile devices rather than desktops. Use mobile-friendly methods like text messages or Tweets to reach them at this time.
Male vs. female. If targeting women mobile users, marketing messages on social media work best. If targeting men, you’ll want to focus on research- and information-oriented channels, such as making sure your business is listed in local search directories, monitoring your presence on ratings and review sites, and providing information about your products and services on your own website in a mobile-friendly format.
The biggest lesson for your business? If you don’t already have a mobile strategy, get cooking, because mobile’s growth will only continue.
Image by Flickr user muir ceardach (Creative Commons)