Device Hoppers… In A Mobile World



by Martin Kellett of Bos Marketing Solutions UK

It’s a human thing… to communicate!

Communication (from Latin “communis“, meaning to share) is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behavior.

In today’s modern mobile society, how many different communication systems and devices are being used.
HOW MANY DO YOU HAVE?… and are you jumping from system to system, from device to device throughout your day?… we call it… ‘Device Hopping’

In this post we look in-depth at the current habits and trends of busy professionals… in a mobile world.

First, a quick couple of important questions on why we rely and have relied on communication devices for thousands of years. But here’s a couple of modern day examples.

Q1.) Why is it that one of the first things many people reach for as they wake, is their mobile phone?

Q2.) Why is it that despite warnings from the police, politicians and the medical profession, we see the consequences of major accidents and incidents on a daily basis, caused by people using mobile phones whilst driving. Why do thousands of us, still feel the need to use their mobile phone in some way, or a least have the temptation to, whilst driving?

The human need and necessity to communicate, to let a loved one know something or, simply to tell a friend something that only just happened to them, is quite the norm and a part of every day life.

For thousands of years humans have communicated using different devices and techniques and moved with progress from one communication device to another.

There was a time that we would paint drawings on cave walls to communicate and to record events.

In North America, the indigenous population would light fires on hilltops and create smoke signals to communicate from tribe to tribe.

– Image courtesy

High up in the Bavarian Alps in Germany, man even learnt to send messages from community to community via a form of song, which we know today as Yodelling!

Communication has developed in all forms.

When the printing press came along it changed everything, literally!

The printing press gave man the potential to convey a single message en masse, to a mass audience and that is a continuum, today.

In 1825, British inventor William Sturgeon revealed an invention that laid the foundations for a large scale evolution in electronic communications: the electromagnet. A true revolution that was the telegraph, where communications could cover great distances, at speed.

And then on the 10th March 1876, a gentleman by the name of Alexander Graham Bell invented a device that would literally turn the world on its head.  

Image of Alexander Bell Inventor of The Telephone
Alexander Bell 
– image courtesy of NNDB

The Telephone… would make distance as a communication barrier, eventually no restriction at all. The first telephone was born.

As the single most used communication device ever invented, the telephone embodies the very essence of humankind and communication… THE SPOKEN WORD!

So as with the evolution of mankind, the art of communication has also developed and seen many changes and many devices. It has seen man invent and reinvent the need and the solution to make better, more efficient communication and it has also seen the level of sophistication of the device to communicate with, develop, improve and reinvent at a rapid pace.

Sir Timothy Berners-Lee 
image courtesy of The Drum

None more so, than in modern day terms, with the invention of the (www.) the World Wide Web. Invented by Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, who implemented the first successful communication between a http client and a server via the Internet, sometime around mid November in 1989. The Super Information Highway as it was banded back then, was born and boy, what a bruiser of a baby.

In today’s modern world of email, SMS, voice, data packets and the humdrum of multi communications channels and communication devices. Is it hardly surprising to find people living their lives…
‘Device Hopping’

Switching from a mobile phone to a tablet, or from a desktop office computer to a Phablet (a crossover device), which is somewhere between a large phone and a smaller tablet?

‘Device Hopping’… It’s what we are all doing!

Devices come and devices go. It’s evolution. As I have previously said man has created the communication need and invented and reinvented the solution. Evolution and changing needs has made us change the way we communicate, the devices we use. This evolution to change, adapt and communicate to others en masse, is what has driven man to be the top predator… always has… and always will.

So let’s look at you and me, today. Let’s examine our lifestyles and our day to day interaction with communications and communication devices.

BOS Marketing
website on mobile

We live in a hyper busy… time challenged, multi tasking, results driven society. We measure performance, success and achievement, by results.

Results make us evaluate our productivity and our non productivity. Down time is viewed as lost productivity and lost productivity is frowned upon as lost MONEY… and there it is ladies and gentleman!!!

We are not only inventing and designing better communications to improve and enrich our lives, but modern day business has pitched its wagon and staked its claim on lost productivity. Making money and losing money rules almost everything, including us and how we live our lives.

Better communication equals better lives and better productivity equals potentially better incomes… or at least a protected one in these uncertain times. 

Productivity… is the driver behind modern life. To maximise our day and be hyper productive.

Firstly, let’s look at a busy mum with children to tend to, or even, a busy… working mum, with children to tend to. Time is her most valuable commodity!  With her hectic schedule of school runs, a home to run, meal planning and possibly her career in addition.  Her day is a constant juggle of time and her ‘device hopping’ is just a typical example of managing time, using devices most suited to her schedule.

Secondly, take the stressed out, time challenged, results chasing, field sales person, who is constantly on the move. One moment in their car, on a train or plane using their mobile to communicate and up date the office, or to up date their next client that they may be a little late for their appointment. At the arrival at the clients location, the sales person then switches device from mobile to pitch to the client on a tablet or laptop. Upon their return to the office, they share reports on their progress with the visited client… and the office monitors their performance.

BOS Marketing
website on tablet

It is this switching from device to device, from mobile phone to tablet, from laptop to mobile that is what’s interesting and challenging for all communications and communicators.  

This is where mobile networks, broadband network, website designers, retailers and almost every business with an Internet and mobile presence face a huge challenge.

A challenge to meet the needs and habits of ‘Device Hoppers’

Have you been in a busy doctors surgery lately?

Checkout the waiting patients. Once they were heads down reading a magazine or a book, now they are on their mobile device, either a mobile phone, a small tablet, an iPad Mini or even an eReader like a Kindle.

Then there’s the doctors and staff themselves with too many clients or patients to tend to, but even many of them still feel the compulsion to occasionally pull out their trusty mobile, just as happened when I was in line at my doctors surgery recently. Admittedly the receptionist only did this to silence the device… but she did go back and check it when no one stood in front of her.

BUSY… busy… busy(!)

Our busy lives set the challenge to our productivity and how do we compensate?

We rely more and more on technology and communication devices to communicate more efficiently.

So let’s examine our typical working day.

In my opinion, many of us, wake and fill the few spare moments of time we have with bedside alarm reminders, whilst grabbing our mobiles, to check our emails or even catch a few pieces of headline news.

At the breakfast table or on the couch, because we all slouch from time to time, we may take another glance at our emails on our tablet and even check out our social worlds, if time permits.

Wow! Is that the time? Now we are late for work and with a slam of the house door, in goes our Bluetooth ear piece.

For those of you with those shiny new mobile connected cars, you can connect to your in-car communication control centre. Now with integrated phone connection, you are connected just in case you might miss that important call, on the morning commute.

For those of you that commute to work by train or underground or even walk or cycle to work… well ain’t you guys got it made! You guys might have time to read a few chapters from a book or catch the latest podcast you follow… on the go. How we all envy that opportunity to gorge on our data fill.

OK we are now at the office or our place of work. There is bound to be some involvement on a desktop or laptop computer. Now our trusty mobile gets put down on the desk or counter, or in a handbag and we ‘device hop’ on to a computer or tablet.

This behaviour, or behavior (depending on which side of the pond you’re on) is so commonplace at work, that businesses and the community have created a special term called
‘BOYD’, or ‘Bring Your Own Device’. That’s when you use your own Wifi connected device on the company network.

Before we know it, something tells us it’s lunchtime. Sometimes this involves a visit to a coffee shop, a local street food stall or maybe a power lunch with business colleagues or clients.

We have all seen it? People walking down the street clutching a bag of bagels whilst on their mobile and at the coffee shop or restaurant with colleagues or clients, there’s a circle of mobiles… just demanding a quick glance.

One things for sure, with any spare time, most of us on our lunch or coffee break, just can’t resist a quick peek, and to pick it up! The mobile, that is!

Back home and with our days work and toil over, what are more and more of us doing, after dinner?

We are back on the couch
‘Device Hopping’ in stereo, which is called ‘Second Screening’… What’s that? More terms to describe what we are now doing.

Image of Second Screening
Second Screening – image courtesy

It’s estimated that millions of us are on our mobile devices, be they smartphones or tablets or notebooks…   WHILST watching TV.  Mashable, reported back in January that ‘36% of Viewers Will Use Second Screen During Super Bowl’ (see article link below under sources)

OK, with a weary yawn and a mug of hot chocolate in hand it’s time to retire to bed. But wait, there’s a small window of opportunity to get your last data fill, before the waves of tiredness finally roll in.

With either your favourite or (favorite) tablet or mobile in hand, one final skim of your emails, a quick glance at Facebook or Twitter or both to check out
the latest buzz on the social networks and may be a quick laugh with a shared YouTube video and you’re about done for your day… ‘Device Hopping’

Time for a few ZZZzzz’s!  

Devices on DO NOT DISTURB… finally!

With all this
‘Device Hopping’, how will business ensure that the products and services it offers will be visible and viewable on all these different devices.   And, with their different device screen sizes, how will business ensure that its marketing strategy, has the synergy to run across multi platforms, and multi devices, in a fluid way?

We have all visited a non mobile friendly website on a mobile, or even on an iPad, if that’s your choice of device. If you have, then you’ll know that it’s like watching the ‘Super Bowl’, whilst wearing granny’s reading glasses.  You can do it, and just about see the TV screen, but boy is it fuzzy and… a frustrating experience?

If businesses are to make the most of the extra engagement possibilities that multi device provides, where their audience is available not only whilst sat in the office or at home on a computer or laptop, but also on those occasions when they can grab just a few spare moments ie sat in their car, in a cafe or any other locality.  With a mobile device, they can just pull it out of their pocket or hand bag and start surfing the net, whenever and wherever they are.

Business needs to make it a priority to MOBILISE or (MOBILIZE) 
their business websites.  By providing mobile friendly websites and systems, making it easy for everyone, on any platform and on any device, to be able to engage and interact with their business.

Making your business website visible on mobile phones and tablets, on all platforms, is not a major problem.  Many website designers provide responsive website platforms, where the website can be viewed on virtually all smartphones and tablet devices.  

Having made a website mobile friendly, the next step is to ensure that all the marketing strategy needs to consider, mobile, as a priority.  A fully integrated mobile marketing strategy, that can move clients from an offline environment, like a magazine or newspaper, to an online purchase point, like a shopping cart checkout or endorsement signing.  This means that with the use of systems like QR codes and Microsoft Tag vouchers, within magazines and hard print publications, with the swipe of the special dotted code, like the one illustrated below, you can transport a potential purchaser to a purchase point or to the relevant website.

QR codes have the potential to link to a dedicated and highly targeted product or service page on a mobile responsive web site.  Unfortunately, very often, brands still link through to a non mobile responsive website, which looks and renders completely useless on many mobile devices.

QR codes are easy to use and their are numerous app’s available both free and at a small charge, offering different levels of sophistication, that can downloaded from the iTunes, Android or Blackberry stores.  Tag codes are the latest bar code system that can create really interesting ways to generate colourful codes.   

Again you can download the Microsoft Tag scanner via the various mobile platform stores.  The additional advantage of the Tag scanner is that you can create really attractive image backgrounds which raise the level of engagement and there is also a great back office analytic suite available, linked to the system and the best part is… there is an entry level, free version.

There’s never been a more important time to get your business web or Internet presence, MOBILE.  

Mobile websites do not cost the earth but they do cover it… the earth that is. 

There really is, no excuse, for limiting your target audience or restricting your business growth, from the huge, rapidly growing, actively engaging, MOBILE CONSUMER.  

There really is no merit it ignoring the… DEVICE HOPPERS!  

They are here and now…  ON MOBILE!  Question is, ARE YOU?… ON MOBILE and is YOUR BUSINESS? 

I hope that you have enjoyed this post and that it was insightful. The points raised is only my take and opinion regarding the ever changing landscape of communications, the Internet and the mobile, connected world, in which we live. 

If you have any comments to add or questions, please feel free to get in touch, have a great day and see how many devices you use today… You Device Hopper!

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To discuss and explore the true potential of responsive web design, or to discuss your mobile marketing strategy and how ‘Device Hopping’ is affecting your online presence, call me in the UK on +44 0843 289 4688, email: 
or visit

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Feature Links:

‘36% of Viewers Will Use Second Screen During Super Bowl’

Images used courtesy of various sources see links below: 

Yodelling image –

Alexander Graham Bell image –

Timothy Burners-Lee image –

Second Screen Image –  

Mobile Marketing & Social BLOG by Martin Kellett of Bos Marketing Solutions Mobile Marketing & Social Blog is your reference point for what’s happening, what’s changing and what’s trending in the current and future of mobile marketing and the social space. Tracking the trends and movements in mobile marketing and the social media space, Martin Kellett of Bos Marketing Solutions in the UK, is a specialist in mobile marketing and social media management. Having spent in excess of 15 years in business marketing, Martin and his colleagues have developed a unique insight, knowledge and passion for all things mobile, marketing and social. With a real interest for how mobile has impacted and will continue impact on large and small businesses, organisations and business entrepreneurs, Martin and his team are constantly investing time and resources in to finding out, what works, what doesn't work, what people you need to know and follow, what tools you need to embrace and learn to use and the techniques that are driving many businesses forward in this space.

Posted in Communications, Email, Evolution, Mobile, Smartphone, SMS Text, Tablets, Telecoms, The Internet, The Telephone, World Wide Web
3 comments on “Device Hoppers… In A Mobile World
  1. […] wrote a blog earlier this year titled ‘Device Hoppers… In A Mobile World’, in which I examined the daily habits of a modern, mobile society and their mobile use and the […]

  2. […] in a mobile oriented world, how do businesses leverage their mobile […]

  3. […] Since the dawn of time, humans have found ways to communicate, inform and share their knowledge and experiences with their trusted tribe, clan or group.  Interested in our human development with communication?  Check out my earlier blog (Device Hoppers… In A Mobile World) […]

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