Today we again turn to the polling giant Nielsen, who have published a survey of over 5000 consumers who have a mobile device and how life situations influence their choices of mobile device and the ways they use it. In this particular survey, the questions focused on who used their mobile device to follow (or ‘click through’) ads and if they followed the advertisement to the point of making online purchases. Turns out, some notable biases are found based on the user’s gender, education, and (even less surprisingly) economic status.
The iPad is the great status symbol of modern mobile computing. It was not the first tablet/micro-laptop on the market, but neither was the iPhone the first smartphone, nor was the iPod the first mp3 player. Apple’s genius is to take a viable technology and give it the double-boost of the latest technologies and the most desired design trends.
Yet, the iPad-ownership community is notably skewed to younger males. Use of the device is even more male-dominated than the Sony Playstation (65% of iPad owners vs. 63% of Playstation owners). Such ‘typecasting’ could prove unattractive to advertisers, especially given the associations the survey contrasts between the iPad and its closest rival, Amazon’s Kindle:
- iPad owners skew younger and more male. Sixty-five percent of them are male and 63 percent of them are under the age of 35.
- Kindle owners tend to be wealthier. Forty-four percent of them make more than $80,000/year compared to 39 percent of iPad owners and 37 percent of iPhone owners. They also tend to have more education: 27 percent of Kindle owners have Master’s degrees or doctorates.
The survey then points out that iPad users are also the most likely category of mobile-device users both to click through ads and to make online purchases from those click-throughs. The questions that ask why users might or might not pursue advertising found that users “enjoy ads with interactive features” and 39% of iPad users describe the advertisements shown to them on their devices as “new and interesting.”
Such finding need not pertain solely to retail outlets, of course. Organizations motivated by the social good or by fund raising or by fund distribution want to get information about their platforms, services, and resources to as wide an audience as possible as well. The Nielsen Report shows how mobile users want to interact with their devices, whatever the commercial or philanthropic message is pulling for their attentions. Video, interactivity, and the ability to stay within an app or service while pursuing commercial or philanthropic information are all important to users of these devices (albeit to differing degrees, as the chart on the left demonstrates). The important concern, then, should be the messages of social/economic/environmental… good, even if the medium can also convey so much sales and entertainment information.
The Nielsen Report includes 3 videos at YouTube (each about 10 minutes long) that discuss the findings, the first of which we post here to get you started.
There is a darker side to this information, though, that the Nielsen Blog does not comment upon: iPad owners tend to be young males with comparatively less income and institutional education than their Kindle et al. counterparts. They are also the types most easily swayed by interactive advertising. Is the relevant distinction to be found in the rising quality of online messaging and the ability to port ever-richer multimedia across ever-expanding networks? Or is the issue that young men with less education are easily parted from their money, no matter the medium that entices them to part with it?