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Content Marketing

Why Desktop vs Smartphone Matters for Your Marketing – Here’s Why #156

Mark insists on having different conversations on different devices, and it’s driving Eric nuts! But it’s true that each of your marketing audiences may have their own preferences for viewing your content.
In this episode of our popular Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Perficient Digital’s Mark Traphagen shares recent research that shows people prefer to consume different kinds of content on different devices. Watch and learn how to meet your audience where they want to be met!

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Eric: Mark, in a previous “Here’s Why” you told us that we have to fit the length and the format of our marketing content to the audience. For example, you quoted research that showed C-Suite executives prefer longer content and in a format they can easily print out and read on paper. Now, you’re saying that our content has to be device sensitive as well?
Mark: Yes, I am. New research from Nielsen shows that people prefer different categories of content on different devices. That is, when they’re on smartphones they’re looking for a certain kind of content. But when they’re on their laptops or desktop computers, they want different things.
Eric: What specifically are they looking for on each?
Mark: Overall, the survey found that two categories of content, entertainment was one and the other was search and social media combined, occupy the majority of time users spend online. But as you can see in this chart below, courtesy of, the amount of time spent in those categories varies between smartphones, tablets and computers, as well as by age group.
The amount of time spent varies between smartphones, tablets and computers, as well as by age group.
But across all age groups, most time with search and social is spent on smartphones while entertainment sites and apps are the clear winners on tablets.
Eric: Any surprises in the data or…?
Mark: Oh, sure. The cliché is that social media is biggest among young people. But the survey found the opposite to be true. Users from 18 to 49 actually spend more time with entertainment than with social media, while social media now dominates with older users.
Eric: Well, what about for eCommerce businesses trying to sell on the web? Where do they come in?
Mark: This survey confirmed what we saw in the mobile versus desktop usage study you published not too long ago.
Eric: So people still prefer to shop on PCs over smartphones?
Mark: Yeah, by a slight edge, but yes. As you speculated in that study, that’s probably because carrying out transactions is still harder on a phone than on a laptop or tablet.
Eric: What are our takeaways from all these interesting survey results?
Mark: I think that it’s worthwhile for marketers to think about not just the demographics and personas of their target audiences, but also on what type of devices they prefer to engage, depending on the kind of content you’re putting out. That should affect things like format, say, video versus text versus visual, and delivery places of their content. If they’re doing PPC or paid social promotions, then they should adjust targeting and budgets, according to device and platform, which you can do in those paid areas.
Eric: Thanks, Mark.

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Mark Traphagen

Mark Traphagen was our Content Strategy Director for Perficient Digital until February of 2019. He has been named one of the most influential content and social media authors in numerous industry listings.

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