How mobile is revolutionising consumer behaviour

London has the highest penetration of smartphones in the UK, at 94 per cent, according to Global’s award-winning urban community, and the proliferation of smartphone devices, across the UK and worldwide, is fast transforming consumer behaviour and allowing brands unparalleled access to consumers on the move. 

In 2016, for example, mobile (smartphone and tablet) will become the leading games platform by software revenue, generating £24 billion in global revenue, up 20% from 2015, according to Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications UK predictions 2016, released last month. This compares to £22 billion for PC games and £20 billion for console games, up only 5 and 6% respectively from the previous year.

The ability to connect with people through their mobile device has opened up a wealth of opportunities for OOH advertisers too. We have seen innovative campaigns like last year’s Magnum Pink and Black wrapped buses to promote their new limited edition ice creams. Each bus was equipped with free WiFi to encourage consumers to view branded content on a Time Out microsite using their mobile device.

Magnum bus wrap

And 2016 will see even greater integration of mobile and OOH, with the former set to become a seamless extension of the latter. Mobile provides a personal portal through which to interact with OOH messaging, and will soon drive e-commerce courtesy of innovative technology like beacons. 

With payment players like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay facilitating a move towards e-commerce, consumers will in future be able to make purchases from an OOH interactive-enabled shop window via their smartphone. 

Advertisers must continue to keep up with technology by producing high quality, immersive, content-rich experiences for consumers. Meanwhile, we, as media owners, need to create the right platforms and partnerships to enable advertisers to capitalise on this rise in mobile devices. 

On the Underground, for example, our recent partnership with social media aggregator TINT is providing consumers with a new way to access all the social media channels they use on a daily basis whilst they’re out and about.

We are also increasingly looking at how consumers behave, think and engage with advertising throughout their journeys on public transport, by analysing things like eye tracking and using data from By understanding our audiences better, we can install the right technology and help advertisers optimise their creative messaging and context to increase engagement.

Global last year fitted out 500 London buses with beacon technology in collaboration with mobile proximity marketing company Proxama, allowing advertisers to send targeted in-app offers and discounts to London commuters via their mobiles. 

In this way, brands can deliver contextualised messages at times when consumers are at their most receptive. With buses carrying over 5.2 billion passengers each year in the UK, with 2.3 billion of those in London alone, innovation such as this is significant. 

The OOH industry will drive adoption of innovation by collectively embracing mobile technology, like beacons, and establishing common standards to drive scale and benefit the industry as a whole. Only by experimenting with mobile technology to ensure that it’s user-friendly and suited to the situation, will we be able to match technology and user behaviour.

Blog written by By Mike Wood, Product and Innovation Director, Global

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