Please be informed that the IPA offices will be closed Friday 4th August.
We will respond to you as soon as we return on Monday 7th August.

Mobile first

Mobile first
Laura Jordan Bambach, Co-founder of SheSays and Cannt Festival, President of D&AD and Creative Partner at Mr. President talks about the power of mobile.

The report TouchPoint5: The Power of Passive Data is a great piece of research commissioned by the IPA, using passive monitoring of mobile phones to give real, unbiased insights into mobile use in the UK. It shows what people really do, not what they say they do.

We all know that we should be thinking “mobile first” with the work we produce for brands. This term has broken out of the digital space (where we know that more visits, interactions and purchases now happen on the mobile web than on desktop in most cases; and Google effectively punishes non-mobile optimised sites in search results) and into general advertising. After all, we want to be where the people are, and there’s something alluring about being in the pocket of every single one of them.

What the research shows is just how much time the UK spends on mobile. We check our phones, on average, 264 times a day. Rising to 387 times a day for young people.

Surprisingly the mobile phone is still predominantly used for communication. I wonder whether this will change over the next five years. 

With mobile now being such a major channel the creative challenge is how do you connect brands and individuals in the right way? The mobile space is a personal one. But there are some common threads that come out in this paper that are interesting starting points for any brand creating work for mobiles.

Looking at the report from a creative point of view, the mobile space feels more like an augmentation of your every day experiences, plans and thought processes than traditional advertising channels. More like a sidekick or assistant. Utility is important. So there are opportunities for brands to have real value by extending that thought. Nike do mobile apps well, though they’re still not in the list of top health apps. All of the most popular have far greater connectivity to the outside world. To scales, to other trackers etc. There is a lesson in here for brands creating utility. Connectivity is key. Overall it feels like there are many other opportunities for brand apps that haven’t been explored properly yet, to become a go-to brand for everyday assistance.

The mobile web, e-commerce, email and social media are frequently used, strong channels. Shopping for food and fashion, coupons and tickets sites are all done regularly.

Entertainment is a big feature. YouTube is incredibly strong. Apps and games also feature strongly. The length of time spent on both 3rd party apps and games each day is significant, so there is still real value creatively in connecting with specific audiences through these channels (for the right brand and with the right idea). Especially if they are talkable and shareable through social or if you’re targeting specific savvy audiences.

Mobiles are used more frequently at home than on the go, but less on weekends than during the week. This was a real surprise. There is truth in the idea of second-screening (the data here is indisputable), using when performing other tasks and using in bed. That’s great creative food for thought. 

Looking at the usage of individual apps provides a bunch of surprises too. Interestingly many of the most common are platforms and games that brands could potentially partner with. There’s a lot of opportunity here.

Overall, the report has been fantastic food for thought, even for someone who works regularly in the mobile space like myself. And a springboard for a few unexpected ideas already germinating.

The next TouchPoints survey, to be launched on 9th October, will also include passive data measurement on mobile phones and, as a further enhancement, tablets.  The survey has also been refined and updated to include a deeper measure of all media consumption by device plus greater range of attitudinal statements on aspects such as online shopping, privacy and using second screens. For more information, visit:

Last updated 12/08/2015

Contact the IPA

ABCe audit Offical Webby Awards Honoree (2011, 2013)

Website, membership and content management software by Senior
Creative design by Igentics

Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA)
© 2018 IPA. All rights reserved. No part of this
site may be reproduced without our permission.