Mary Meeker Internet Trends: It’s Not How Many, It’s How Many Matter

Michael Semer
Jul. 1, 2013 by Michael Semer

This got everybody buzzing – twice!

When Kleiner Perkins’ Mary Meeker reportedly took the stage at the All Things Digital D11 conference and said a typical smartphone user looks at his/her device 150 times a day, it blew up into a media-driven meme – and the blowback was immediate:  sources questioned, concerns expressed, integrity challenged, pundits punditing and counterpunditing in dizzying escalation.  Who said the NBA playoffs have a hedge on smack?

Hey – even the best of us make mistakes.  But Kleiner Perkins isn’t backing off, even if the research might have been dodgy – they think it’s a fair assumption, and if we’re considering a heavy or super-heavy smartphone user, they might be in the ballpark.

But our first thought was, what’s a statistic like that mean to our customers?

Just saying “150 times a day” doesn’t cut very deep.  Is the device user parsing callers?  Browsing?  Doing a check-in?  Or looking at email?  How many times are they actually engaging with whatever they’re looking at?

Users Reach To Phone 150 Times A Day

It nearly doesn’t matter if it’s 150 glances, or 15, or 1500 – what matters is what they’re looking at, and how they react.  That matters, especially if you’re an enterprise that uses email to engage with customers.

For them, getting rich data on how people use mobile email is more important than knowing how often they look at their iPhone or G4.  Guess what?  There’s data out there, and it’s crazy fun – like the fact that one study by Adobe indicates that 79% of us use a smartphone for reading email, a higher percentage than those who use it for making callsOr that over 41% of emails are opened on a mobile OS or device (Knotice, 2013).

We’d also bet one particular slice of the mobile messaging stream (which can include SMS, alerts, mobile social pokes, etc.) grabs more attention than others, same as it does everywhere else: transactional emails get opened.

So.  Claiming I’m going to check my phone 150 times a day doesn’t reveal a lot.  It’s a pithy claim that grabs headlines…though so does anything with the word “Kardashian” in it.

What is handy is detailing the hierarchy of engagement with my smartphone: what I open, what I ignore, and what compels those choices.

Want to find out more about how to optimize transactional mail to develop customer conversations and increase ROI? Download the Transactional Messaging Best Practices eBook!

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