Mobile Apps Take the Wheel

Posted Aug 30, 2017

Three-day weekends call for killer food, spontaneous adventures, and unforgettable road trips. What are travelers concerned about when planning a road trip and how do they spend their time on the drive? AdColony’s 2017 Consumer Road Trip Survey can answer all that, and more.

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Making its first appearance this year, the Consumer Road Trip Survey provides insights on consumer behavior pertaining to travel plans and how technology comes into play before and during the actual trip.

Highlights of the Study
It’s no surprise that when it comes to road trips, everyone is looking for good entertainment. What does come as a surprise are the top concerns, preferences, and behaviors of travelers — and how those preferences vary by generation and gender.

  • Millennials are cost-conscious. 18 to 24 year-olds are most concerned about gas mileage. Are they tired of commuting? Maybe they’re saving for college. Whatever the reason, this group isn’t looking to spend big bucks. As such, advertisers seeking to appeal to younger travelers will find the most success if their creative offers a deal.
  • Real conversations are preferred. When it comes to socializing, consumers would much rather talk to others in the car (47%) than use social media (22%) to pass the time.
  • Playing & talking is preferred over posting. Centennials and Trailing Millennials are more likely to play games on their phone or tablet (52%) or have conversations with family & friends (45%) than they are to post on social media (37%). When comparing this behavior among all ages, gaming still comes out on top, with a noticeable 16% lead over social media usage in the car.
  • Coverage isn’t a concern. Only 17% showed concern for cell/data coverage en route. Whether they trust their carrier or they’re streaming content that’s previously been downloaded onto their device, zero bars doesn’t seem to be very important for travelers.
  • Paper media still ranks supreme. When it comes to reading books, magazines, and newspapers, consumers still prefer physical copies over digital. Only Millennials and Baby Boomers were the exception to this trend. Albeit surprising, these results suggest that there may still be room for improvement in the user experience in top news & reader apps.
  • Centennials are expert multitaskers. Results showed that on the road, teens juggle the most activities at once and often quickly shift attention from one activity to another. So what are the implications for mobile publishers and advertisers? Content catered to this age group should be snappy, engaging, & entertaining to prevent them from losing interest.
  • Women are on their phones more than men. Whether they’re playing games, listening to music, or scrolling through social media, women surveyed reported engaging in far more mobile-centric activities while on the road (4.2) than men (3.0).

About the Study
The AdColony Consumer Road Trip Survey asked global consumers a short series of easy-to-answer questions about travel plans, revealing a generous amount regarding traveling concerns and patterns of behavior when on the road in a variety of age groups.

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Respondent Profile
There was a good mix of respondents, with the gender distribution being 50% female, 44% male, 1% other, and 5% declining to state. The survey had global reach, with 84% of respondents in North America, 8% in Central and South America, 5% in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, and 3% in Asia Pacific.

Join the Conversation
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