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TouchPoints reveals consumers’ true mobile phone habits

Data captured passively as part of TouchPoints reveals what consumers are actually doing on their smartphones.


The data, collected via an app on respondents’ smart phones, builds on findings from last week’s OFCOM report on the arrival of the UK as a smartphone society. Crucially, given the nature of the TouchPoints data collection*, it not only allows businesses to identify consumers’ genuine smart phone behaviour it also allows them to understand the context of their behaviour.

TouchPoints provides evidence of where consumers are, who they are with, what they are doing and uniquely what mood they are in on an half hourly basis throughout the day.

Passive mobile highlights:

  • Young people use their mobile phones every other minute they are awake, for an average of 387 times each day vs 264 times for all adults.
  • 41% of smartphone users aged 65+ use mobile betting services in comparison to 26% of smartphone users aged 15-24.
  • 68% of smartphone usage is done at home, rather than out and about. This emphasises the personal nature of smart phone ownership compared to say tablets, which are more likely to be shared.
  • 23% of smartphone users aged 65+ use Google+ in comparison to only 11% of 15-24 smartphone users.
  • 40% of all streaming of video on a smartphone occurs on a Saturday and Sunday.
  • Sunday is when people are most likely to use Facebook, peaking at 1.30pm-2pm.
  • The most popular retail brands accessed by smartphones are eBay (45% of the sample) and Amazon (43%). Amazon is twice as popular as eBay for smart phone users aged 65+.
  • Online penetration of dating services via smartphone averages 6% across all ages, in comparison with 83% for social networking.
  • Using a phone for communication peaks between 6pm-6.30pm on Thursday evening as people begin preparing for the weekend.

A special free report on the TouchPoints passive data is available at: and the full data is available to TouchPoints subscribers. For further information, contact

Says Sue Unerman, Chief Strategy Officer, MediaCom. Author of Tell the Truth:  “This report gives a snapshot of who is doing what on their smart phones and when they’re doing it which will add depth to all kinds of campaigns - not just mobile ones - and provides interesting stimulus for planners.  I expect that it will lead to the development of sophisticated use of second screen for advertisers. Every moment now is a point of sale and an opportunity to earn shares for a brand’s content or advertising if they deserve it.  It will also gradually but profoundly change people’s expectations of communications from brands.”

Says Laura Jordan Bambach, Co-Founder of SheSays and Cannt Festival and Creative Partner at Mr President: “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.”

Says Lynne Robinson, Research Director, IPA: “TouchPoints allows businesses to drill down to specifically target consumers via behaviours, time, day, mood, location, and more, to produce more effective communications plans. Much of this kind of data has been at the exclusive preserve of some of the major tech and telecoms companies. With the inclusion of passive data collection in TouchPoints it is now available to everyone to provide a more holistic view of the consumer.”

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.

Notes to editors:

*the sample (1,159 aged 15+) downloaded an app onto their smartphone which passively measured their mobile phone behaviour over a four-week period.

Last updated 11/08/2015

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