Mobile devices are claiming an ever-greater share in French people’s daily lives. Following in the footsteps of the digital natives, all the generations have now adopted mobile technology and use their devices all the time, anywhere and everywhere.

Intensive Mobile Use Changing the Balance of Power and Adjusting Views on Reality

We are now witnessing mass-market penetration of the mobile phenomenon, in terms of usage, time and place. In France, 92% of 15-75 year-olds take photos with their mobile, 65% listen to music on them, and 51% use them to access the social networks. These figures were presented by global market research company Ipsos at their ‘2h dans la poche de vos clients’ (Two hours in the pocket of your customer) event held in Paris last week, illustrating that a mobile device is a tool which can provide comprehensive information on new customer behaviour patterns, whether we are talking about changes in the balance of power, people’s shifting view of reality or the creation of intimate relationships.

Instantaneous, ubiquitous, intimate

With all the applications now on offer, a mobile device gives its owner the feeling of being an expert. So what we are seeing today is a veritable shift of authority. The consumer now has the means to dominate the person in front of him/her, whether a doctor, banker, or other professional. Ipsos France CEO Dominique Lévy underlines that “mobile devices are changing our relationship with the real world. We’re no longer in an era where we experience an event, but one where we share it.” People tend to embellish reality. The sheer immediacy which mobile technology provides enables a person to grasp the feeling and the emotion, and this “instantaneous quality fits perfectly with consumer desires,” explains Lévy. Another intrinsic feature of mobile is that it is ubiquitous – the device goes everywhere with its owner, while shopping, travelling, and even in bed. Some 62% of those aged 15-24 send SMS messages while walking along the street, 64% of them use the device in front of the TV, while 75% of the 15-34 age band even use it in bed and 39% look at their mobile immediately on waking up.

Capturing reality anywhere and everywhere

Perhaps most significant however, mobile allows the creation of an intimate relationship with the consumer. Posting photos and telling friends what you are doing right now is completely normal for today’s users because “expressing intimacy is part of today’s wants and needs,” explains Dominique Lévy. This is why mobile seems an ideal tool for carrying out opinion surveys, as it “enables you to capture fleeting phenomena,” and in any case provides faster, more precise and more granular measurements, points out the Ipsos France CEO.  She believes that in future a mix of methodologies will be used for polling. “We’ll get consumers to talk about themselves in their own way. That’s the way to do marketing, getting closer to the truth.” Which is the essence of Ipsos’ new positioning, unveiled at the event, under the slogan “Welcome to the real world”.


By Pauline Trassard