Consumers spend an entire day a week online

Wednesday 29 August 2018

The Ofcom Communications Market Report 2018 was released earlier this month and explores how consumers interact and engage with media. We explore the key takeouts for brands trying to build better connections with their customers:


Digital-first approach

If you’re not putting digital first, you should be. Adults are now spending (on average) 24 hours a week online, which is double the amount of time that was spent in 2007. For brands looking to increase reach and maximise their return on investment, digital has to be at the forefront of a marketing and communications strategy. And the report reveals that many brands are putting digital first, with online advertising now accounting for the majority of UK advertising spend. Alex Ford, managing partner of our digital agency, Kolab, says: “We've seen astonishing results from clients who have been brave and decided to do something different and spend their marketing budget on digital and social channels instead of their normal formulaic approach.”


Mobile isn’t going anywhere

The use of mobile devices probably isn’t a surprise, but the rate in which their popularity is  rising might be. According to the report, 72% of UK adults now use their mobile to access the Internet (a 6% increase from last year). Smartphones are the preferred device over all others - 37% of time spent at home online is on a smartphone and 40% of adults look at their phone within five minutes of waking up. So optimising content for mobile and investing in engaging mobile experiences is crucial, says Alex: “The mobile design and functionality of a website should never be an afterthought. We monitor all our clients' web analytics and regularly see sites where mobile views are now more than half of all traffic.”


Video and digital are more connected than ever

The way people watch television is changing, mainly because of superfast broadband and smart TVs. We’re all more connected than ever and more of us are heading online to watch content, with 29% of people watching clips on channels like YouTube and one third watching content via an online subscription service. While there’s been a decline in broadcast viewings, people still watch an average of 3 hours and 23 minutes of television a day. As more and more channels are being used to access video content, video should be a central part of any digital marketing strategy.


It’s not just about the Millennials!

Millennials (aka Gen Y) aren’t the only ones who share a love of digital and tech - it appears older generations are embracing it too. According to Ofcom, over 54s use communication apps the most and there’s been a 51% take up of smartphone users in over 55s. Social media usage continues to rise within this demographic too - Facebook’s second biggest demographic is over 55s and over 500,000 people within this age group are predicted to join the platform this year. The key takeaway? Brands that are trying to reach an older audience have to think about more than print media or pen and paper. Of course, printed communications still have a place (we regularly work with clients to create offline marketing materials) but to really drive engagement and create impact digital should be at the forefront.


Voice recognition is still on the rise

Although one in ten people listen to the radio via a smart speaker (like an Amazon Echo or Google Home) investment in voice recognition technology remains fairly low, with the Ofcom report revealing that in the first half of 2018 just 16% of people aged 16-54 owned a smart speaker. So while brands need to consider voice recognition and how this will impact consumer behaviour, it’s still an up and coming technology.


What do you think of the latest report? Is digital a central part of your marketing strategy? Join in the conversation and follow us on social media:




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