Last week, I came across three separate studies that demonstrate the growing importance of mobile communication.

The implication for employee communication, of course, is that increasingly your workers are consuming information and connecting with others using a hand-held device with a tiny screen.

Are your vehicles mobile friendly? Are your messages bite-sized, so that employees can quickly get the point? Are you preparing for the continued rise of mobile? You need to pay attention to this trend (and use statistics like these to make your case).

Here are highlights:

Two-thirds of smartphone owners reported that they “cannot live without” their phones, according to a study by The Online Publishers Association (OPA). In addition:

  • The population of smartphone users is growing rapidly. An estimated 44% of the U.S. internet population, ages 8-64, owns a smartphone (107 million consumers*), up from 31% in 2011 (73 million consumers*) and expected to reach 57% by Q2 2013 (142 million consumers*).
  • Aside from making phone calls, 93% of smartphone users regularly access content and information above any other activity, followed by accessing the internet (59%) and checking email (58%).
  • The primary types of content smartphone consumers access are weather (47%), video (31%), local news (29%) and national news (24%).

For business travelers, mobile devices are so important that most carry three or four separate devices  to stay connected to the office and to those at home, according to a survey sponsored by Four Points by Sheraton, a Starwood Hotels brand. More than 6,000 business travelers globally were polled (1,000 each from the United States, the United Kingdom, China, India, Germany and Brazil). Here’s what they said:

  • Smartphones are their #1 device. What three or four devices are respondents likely to bring? Smartphones are tops (74%), followed by tablets (65%), music players (43%) and laptops (32%).
  • Business travelers are glued to those smartphones. After landing, the majority (54%) turn on their smartphone while the plane is still taxiing on the tarmac, while 12% never turn it off in the first place. Checking their smartphone is also the first thing respondents do when they wake up in their hotel (36%).

People who play games on their smartphones and use their devices to connect with their social networks are more satisfied with their phones, according to J.D. Power and Associates’ latest Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study, which found:

  • Two-thirds of smartphone users have downloaded social networking applications on their phones, and they are spending more than 100 minutes a week using them.
  • Nearly 70% of smartphone users have downloaded games, spending 81 minutes a week playing them. 
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