Published date: Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Mobile’s Hierarchy of Needs

The Digital Revolution

We’re in the midst of a digital revolution; the mobile phone has transitioned from a device for voice calls to a handheld computer. With increased speed of data connection and availability of Wi-Fi, we’re seeing a monumental shift from people using their desktops to mobile.

Just as in the third industrial revolution with the transition from radio to television, we’re now seeing a similar pattern occur from stationary platforms such as TV and desktop to mobile devices, which has led to them becoming the primary digital tool.

This is backed by a piece of research conducted by comScore called ‘Mobile’s Hierachy of Needs’ which looks at mobile consumption across the globe showing that mobile devices dominate the total minutes spent online. As fig 1.1 shows, in the UK and USA, mobile’s share of total digital minutes is 61% and 71% respectively.

Fig 1.1

Fig 1.1
ComScore reports that in nine markets over 80% of the time spent on mobile is in-app due to increased storage, ease of usage and better user experience.

Content is king, but Context is core

The report establishes a link between Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory and consumer’s modern day motivation to use their mobile devices. Self-Actualisation, esteem, love/ belonging, safety and physiological are the fundamental reasons why we use our mobile devices.

Physiological needs are those which need to be met first and are traditionally the needs essential to human survival. Although we don’t rely on our mobile devices for air and water there has been a significant increase in consumers using mobile devices to order food.


Figure 2.1 shows how reliant consumers have become, applications such as Deliveroo and JustEat have experienced exponential growth due their overall convenience. Using apps such as these doesn’t only streamline the process but gives consumers the ability to track where their delivery in real time. Due to this ordering food has outpaced the growth of general mobile usage.

2016 total mobile minutes (as a percentage of January 2015 total)

fOOD 2.11Fig2.1


As the comScore report confirms, mobile is the go to destination for video viewers. Video is a powerful way for brands to convey a message to their audiences. We all know that content is king, but context is core. Through data and AI, advertisers can ensure their videos reach their audience in the moment they are mostly likely to engage, watch or change their opinion on their advert.

Our recent report found that using PurchaseLoop on mobile resulted in 2X better results than traditional advertising on brand outcomes, whether this was purchase intent, brand consideration, awareness or favourability. Download the full report to find out more.