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Singles Seeking Smartphones; Couples Cozy up to Tablets Finds Internet Research Study

The Search Agency Releases Results of 2012 Online User Behavior and Engagement Study; Study Also Reveals Daytime vs. Nighttime Proclivities, Second Screens Also Prevalent

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Search Agency, a global online marketing firm and the largest independent U.S. search marketing agency, today announced the results of its 2012 Online User Behavior and Engagement Study, conducted online by Harris Interactive in August among 2,006 US adults, which found that, while smartphones may be most popular among the singles set, married folks favor tablets. In addition, use of a second screen—be it tablet, computer or smartphone—is prevalent among all age groups but highest for generations X and Y.

Distinct differences in online and offline behavior between various age groups, indicating multiple demographic trends that impact behavior, are also illuminated in the study. "For many of the findings, percentages zigzagged between age groups, rather than plotting a consistent bell curve—indicating how factors such as generational differences, disposable income, and the influence of children on their parents impact results," said Mike Solomon, vice president, marketing strategy at The Search Agency. "Married people are often older, have more disposable income and can more easily justify superfluous pieces of technology, such as tablets. At the same time, baby boomers are often more tech-literate than their slightly younger counterparts—likely because their millennial children are pushing them to use new tools and devices."

Also identified are the situational factors impacting behavior that should be considered by mobile advertisers before creating content or directing their spend. "So much of what we see from the study, and the marketplace in general, is how time of day and other situational factors impact behavior. Everything from age to proximity to your television or other devices impacts how and when you reach for your computer or mobile device to shop, search or get social," continued Solomon. "It's important that advertisers consider how to match content and experiences with the time of day and specific device in order to best engage users."

Study findings include:

Singles Select Smartphones; Pairs Prefer the Tablet
The study found that more single people own a smartphone than married respondents, with 49% of single respondents owning smartphones vs. 43% for married respondents. But, more married people own tablets than single people, at 45% vs. 36%, respectively.

Second Screens Seal the Deal
People are anxious to move beyond the TV screen, with 78% of overall respondents looking to their computer to get more information about products they are interested in on TV, and 66% of tablet owners turning to their tablets. Age significantly impacts this finding, with 71% of tablet owners age 18-34 and 81% ages 35-44 picking up their tablets for more information (vs. 54% ages 45-54 and 56% ages 55+). And, of respondents more married people own tablets, more single people (76%) are likely to use them to get further information for products seen on TV vs. their married counterparts (63%).

Must Have Mobile
While the ubiquity of mobile use has been widely accepted, it's interesting to note that people are turning to their mobile devices even when their computer is within arm's reach. 59% of smartphone owners have searched from their smartphone when they are in close proximity of their computers, with that number jumping to 74% of smartphone owners ages 18-34.

Shopping on the Job; Millennials Browse and Buy During the Day
Much has been said about those multi-tasking, hyper-connected Millennials, and the study underscores some of these tendencies. In addition to their ability to do many things at once, Millennials do not separate work and play as much as their older counterparts, often playing at day, working at night, and vice versa. 53% among age 18-34 are more likely to purchase something online during the day than at night while, only 42% of those at the other end of the age spectrum (55+) are more likely to purchase during the workday.  52% of respondents age 18-34 are more likely to browse social networks during the day than at night, vs. 41% of respondents age 35-44, 30% among age 45-54, and 30% among ages 55+.

For more information about The Search Agency or the 2012 Online User Behavior and Engagement Study, go to

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Dotted Line from August 14th-16th, 2012 among 2,006 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About The Search Agency
The Search Agency is a global online marketing firm that combines high-tech and high-touch strategies to help clients engage their customers online and measure ROI beyond a reasonable doubt. With a deep-rooted history in paid search and SEO, The Search Agency understands how activity on the web intersects at search, and executes smart digital marketing strategies that drive measurable results across multiple platforms. Services include Paid Search, SEO, Landing Page Optimization, Display Media, Social Media and Comparison Shopping Management, which are strategically leveraged to maximize the efficacy of clients' integrated marketing campaigns. The company is one of the nation's largest and fastest growing search marketing firms – named the largest independent U.S. search marketing agency by Advertising Age and among Deloitte's 2011 Technology Fast 500™. Founded in 2002, The Search Agency has grown to more than 180 employees worldwide with headquarters in Los Angeles, CA, and additional offices in San Francisco, East Greenwich, Baltimore, Tampa, London, Sydney, Toronto and Bangalore. For more information, go to  

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients—stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

SOURCE The Search Agency

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