Corporate Eye

Connecting Brands and the Mobile-Only Audience

iphone mobile consumerMarketers are quick to ask each other if they have a mobile-first strategy in place. Although we’re getting closer to widespread adoption of mobile-first strategies, most companies are still trying to catch up with a mobile-always strategy (comScore reported that we had a multi-platform majority last year). Now, there is data from comScore that suggests brand marketers also need a mobile-only strategy for a growing segment of the consumer population.

Using the comScore MMX Multi-Platform tool, comScore analyzed the mobile-only audiences of the top media properties and found that brands which only advertise through traditional display advertising are missing tens of millions of consumers each month. These are people who never visit websites so they never see ads displayed via desktop. For example, comScore found that each month 73% of Pandora’s audience, 54% of Buzzfeed’s audience, and 49% of Apple’s audience are mobile-only.

The demographic profile of the mobile-only consumer audience might not be what you expect. According to comScore, an analysis of mobile-only visitors revealed that more than 25 million of those visitors are between the ages of 35-64. If you thought only young audiences of tech-savvy millenials are mobile-only consumers, you’re missing a very large number of people across all age groups. However, it’s important to point out that the majority of mobile-only visitors are actually between the ages of 18-44. Here is the breakdown:

  • 18-24 = 10.8%
  • 25-34 = 14.4%
  • 35-44 = 12.1%
  • 45-54 = 7.8%
  • 55-64 = 6.1%
  • 65+ = 1.6%

Statistics support the development of a mobile-first strategy. For example, did you know that global mobile data will increase 11-fold by 2018? In the United States, one out of two online consumers made mobile purchases in 2013, and in the United Kingdom, nearly one in five smartphone users have made mobile purchases. These are trends that are not going to change. Once a consumer goes mobile-only (or mobile-dominant), it’s unlikely that they’ll go back to being desktop-only (or desktop-dominant) ever again.

Are you measuring your mobile-only audience correctly? If not, you might be allocating your digital advertising budget ineffectively. It’s no longer a matter of if you need a mobile-only strategy for a segment of the consumer audience. Today, it’s a matter of when you can develop it and roll it out, because every day that you don’t prioritize mobile marketing is a missed opportunity.

Image: Karola Rieger

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.