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Mobile Devices Keep Execs Connected on Vacation, Weekends

Tablets, smartphones used by more execs after hours than local or national newspapers

eMarketer predicts 115.8 million US consumers will be smartphone users and 54.8 million will be tablet users by year’s end. The swift adoption of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets among the US population has allowed for media consumption to become an anywhere, everywhere activity.

March findings from mobile research firm Prosper Mobile Insights showed US smartphone and tablet owners were very much tethered to these devices even while on vacation—a time once thought to be a screen-free period of relaxation. Just 2.2% of this audience left these devices behind; 78.8% not only took their devices with them but used them “all the time” while on vacation.

Business executives in particular see these devices as near constant companions and are often outfitted with tablets and smartphones in higher concentrations than the general population. In October 2011, Doremus and the Financial Times found tablets and smartphones together constituted the second-most popular media that senior executives worldwide consumed during lunch breaks and commuting hours. In addition, more than a quarter of respondents used these devices after work hours (29%) and on weekends (27%).

Worth noting is the percentage of senior executives worldwide who used mobile devices post-work or on the weekends: The figure was greater or equal to the percentage of executives consuming traditional print media such as local or national newspapers. As tablets in particular continue to take hold, the classic image of someone reading the Sunday paper with coffee in hand might be in need of revision.

For marketers, this signals a growing opportunity to reach business professionals beyond the office and outside of traditional work hours as they engage in both personal and business-related media consumption on smartphones and tablets. CBS Interactive’s chief client officer, Dave Morris, advocates taking this type of approach for B2B mobile marketing.

“You want to look to find ways to hit folks both in the work and their outside-of-work mode, and customize the message appropriately,” said Morris in an April 2012 interview with eMarketer. “[Companies like] FedEx want to be in a news environment when people are thinking about their job, their business, their work, and they also want to reach that person on the weekend, when a person’s a little bit more relaxed and maybe not thinking about work, but still receptive to a message that impacts them in their work life.”

For more on how business professionals are using mobile devices and the implications for B2B marketers, check out the upcoming eMarketer report, “Mobile Business Professionals: Seeking Efficiency with Smartphones and Tablets.”

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Check out today’s other articles, “Local Social Ad Spending Set to Surge” and “Mobile Phone User Growth Plateaus in Argentina.”

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