IT in the Toilet 2012: A Mobile Movement

Have you ever tried to market to someone in the bathroom? According to the 2012 IT in the Toilet report from integrated marketing agency 11mark, you probably have: 75 percent of Americans take their mobile devices into the bathroom with them, where 42 percent have read their email (including your marketing messages), 67 percent have read texts and over 50 percent of smartphone owners have used an app. Ten percent have even made an online purchase while in there! Are your operators standing by when they make that call? Here is an infographic and more insights on how we’re letting IT into our most off-the-grid moments.

What’s perhaps most interesting about this study is not that people take their cell phones into the bathroom—it’s already in your pocket, afterall—but that many people aren’t stopping what they were likely doing before they went in there. Twenty percent of men and 13 percent of women make or take work-related calls; 26 percent and 15 percent, respectively, engage with work email; and 41 percent and 36 percent kept right on browsing the web.

iPhone users were a bit less likely to use their phones in the bathroom than Android users (77 percent to 87 percent), but they were twice as likely to make a purchase while in there (20 percent to 10 percent). The bathroom shopping trend looks likely to increase with time as well. Only 2 percent of the Silent Generation (defined by this study as those born before 1946) had made a purchase from the water closet, compared to 6 percent of Baby Boomers (born between 1947 and 1964), 10 percent of Gen X (1965-1976) and 16 percent of Gen Y (1977-1993).

And, of course, there is the sobering realization that, while 90 percent of respondents at least washed their hands before leaving the bathroom, only 14 percent washed their phones. … What a dirty, dirty habit mobile has become.

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.
Publish date: February 7, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT