Industry research giant, comScore, has published a paper revisiting Maslow’s classic Hierarchy of Needs pyramid/ triangle and reinventing it for the mobile age. Since Maslow’s 1943  “A Theory of Human Motivation”, there have been a few revisits including this version brought up to date to reflect our First World needs in this century.

comScore’s version  is created with a more serious intent and reflects their research, looking at digital use stats across nine regions worldwide. Their research tells us that with mobile share of total digital minutes sitting at 61% in the UK ranging up to 91% in Indonesia, and app time a huge 82% of those digital minutes in the UK, it’s time to look at how we are using smartphones and tablets to satisfy our needs in the digital world. A survey from The Boston Consulting Group is quoted, discovering that one in three people would rather give up sex for a year than give up their smartphone/ tablet, and 55% said they would rather not dine out for a year than be deprived of their handy companion. comScore’s new Maslow interpretation explains that the phones/ tablets allow us to access so much material and information which is core to our lives, with such ease, that they are now indispensable. The 61% UK share is bound to increase and that of desktop decrease, as the years flash past.

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The particular business focus for comScore’s paper is on mobile and apps, and the gap between consumer time spent on them (approx. 70% of total digital time) and the percentage of revenue earned by retailers from mobile digital channels (20%). This gap of around 50% indicates that there is a massive opportunity for retailers who can (1) reach their potential customers online with the right message, in the right tone and format, at the right time, and (2) create a user experience to encourage trade. At the same time, clearly there is an opportunity for publishers to monetise their apps. The balancing act between native and non-native content is crucial to this. If the user experience is tainted, the relationship will be broken. An understanding of when users will be most likely to receive short or long content or creative continues to be of the utmost importance for both publishers, agencies and advertisers. Creating the optimum viewer experience on a small screen is key for future advertising strategies, brand development, and publisher growth.

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