Audience Segmentation Based on Device Type

24 October 2023
Reading: 3 min

You can segment your audience in many ways: by demographics, psychographics, behavior, geography, firmographics, or devices. Think about it, each device type has a unique set of characteristics, including convenience, mobility, performance, energy efficiency, price, eco friendliness, universality, etc. People enjoy different combinations of the characteristics. By knowing which gadget is favored by whom, you can segment and target your audience better.

Generations & devices

Mobile phones are favored by more than 85% of American adults (18+), which is why we wrote a separate article, dedicated to mobile targeting. Virtually all the generations use mobile phones, but they use them for different purposes. Gen Z can’t live their lives without a cellphone, while Baby Boomers prefer to use mobiles for social interactions, instead of visual stimulation. Here are some more facts:

  • 98% of Gen Z (1997–2012) own a smartphone and tend to lay their hands on it early on. More than half of Gen Z claims that their mobile phone is their primary access point to the internet.
  • Gen X (1965-1980) has the following device preferences: 92% for a cellphone, 69% for a desktop computer, 61% for a laptop, 5% for a tablet.
  • Tablets are more likely to be used by Baby Boomers (1946-1964) than Millennials (1981-1996): 57% vs. 35%.
  • Baby Boomers are more likely to buy a desktop (65%) than a laptop (49%).
  • Millennials are more likely to buy a laptop (70%) than a desktop (57%) — the first generation to start doing so.

All the age groups have multi-device users, with smartphones being the most universal device. Surprisingly, the elder people from the Baby Boomers group are into tablets — you don’t neglect tablet traffic, do you?

Occupation & devices

Depending on the person’s activity throughout the day, they might be inclined toward a certain device type.

Employees prefer desktops

When at work, the device preferences (excluding tablets) are as follows:

  • 82% for desktops
  • 53% for laptops
  • 35% for smartphones

Audience Segmentation Based on Device Type

Via: TechCrutch

9-to-5 traffic coming from desktops is more likely to originate from people at work. No need to think that these people are out of your reach — cyberslacking happens to be very popular. Moreover, browsing for career-related things at work is more or less fine:

  • Productivity-boosting apps — short video exercises, music to listen to, reading associated articles. You can promote either related software or nutra offers.
  • Business shopping — gifts for coworkers, uniforms for holiday activities, prizes. Make sure it’s just business and nothing personal, for your eCommerce offers to flourish.
  • High-priority life decisions — a dog sitter, new house, college courses. In most work environments, it is acceptable to search for the items like these, provided they don’t harm overall performance. This is the right category to promote Financial or Home Renovations offers for.
  • Fun activities for the office — a game of laser tag, karaoke bar, billiard club. As long as the employees look for morale boosters to benefit the staff, they should be fine.

Consider promoting apps to boost productivity during working hours and for desktops. Think about corporate-themed eCommerce offers or straight up Home Renovation lead gens. Don’t forget Mass Tort litigation, the ads for which are more likely to be found and read during working hours, when employed are prone to cyberslacking. These products are more likely to appeal to office workers during working hours.

Tablets for reading emails and presentations

Audience Segmentation Based on Device Type

Millennials (55%), Gen X (53%), and Baby Boomers (52%) [1946–1996] are into tablets. Tablets are commonly used to go through emails — more than 54% of users utilize tablets for that. Other common uses include news reading and social networking. Besides classic Facebook and Google, you can rely on email newsletters and social media channels, e.g., Reddit, Instagram, Twitter — all these traffic sources serve the aforementioned uses well.

When it comes to specific working categories, tablets are favored by higher-ranking individuals:

  • 43% for top-managers and directors
  • 24% for managers and supervisors
  • 10% for workers

Tablets excel as a display medium: statistics, charts, data, agenda — it is compact, with a touch-screen keyboard, spacious enough to display several things at once, and light-weighted. A single, neatly-packed device to show all the infographics needed at once — that might be the reason top-managers and CEO stick to tablets. These people do have money and might be addicts. How about Financial, iGaming, or Dating offers?

Laptops are universal

Audience Segmentation Based on Device Type

Laptops are an all-in-one solution — sufficiently large to display everything, of high performance, and compact enough to carry with you everywhere. When compared to a desktop of the same specifications, the laptop is bound to either perform worse or cost more. But this setback comes with an advantage of high portability and small form-factor.

Which is why gamers, students, designers, programmers, entrepreneurs, doctors, administrators, bankers, copywriters, and (of course) marketers use laptops for work, study, or leisure. Specifically, university students use laptops for writing assignments, reading materials, and attending online courses. Financial offers, e.g., student loans, fit this niche like a glove. Students are also into games, males and females alike, so gaming offers are a very lucrative option too.

The laptop has the performance of a desktop, yet it is very portable; it shouldn’t come as a surprise that travelers like them. Consider targeting laptop users with travel-related offers: vacation trips, sunscreens & other nutra products, skis & related eCommerce, and booking.

Virtually, any “nomad”, doing performance-intensive tasks, opt for laptops. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts, traders, marketers, gamblers, casual shoppers — they all are found here. If the classic towering computer focuses on everything business-related, notebooks are aimed at everything else. Which is why iGaming, dating, antiviruses, software, sweepstakes — practically any vertical complements laptops.

Smartphones are for true wanderers

Audience Segmentation Based on Device Type

Smartphones are universal too, but they boast even easier access at the cost of performance, compared to laptops. Gamers are different here — no cellphone can support Cyberpunk 2077 (update: Redmagic 7S somewhat can). Smartphones cater to the needs of those, who appreciate ease of access above everything else — whether it’s constant travelling, desire to carry as little items as possible, or simple laziness to get off a cozy sofa.

Smartphones are ideal for social communications, quick entertainment, casual photographing and videographing, navigation, online banking & payments, small applications & games — daily and even routine-like small jobs. People use it to quickly look for the information or make a purchase on the run. It’s not that good for products, requiring thorough research and comparison, because its form-factor is best suited for a single window at a time.

Consider promoting the verticals, which require little investment on the client’s part in terms of time and money, e.g., Sweepstakes, Sports & Betting, eCommerce, Apps & Software, antiviruses, nutra, and, of course, Dating. Mobile app Dating can be golden, since people can feel very isolated these days. A right message to chat at the right time can trigger such emotions that people will go for it, no matter what. In this regard, push notifications serve as a great reminder of yourself. Alternatively, consider pop-unders as another relatively unobtrusive ad format. Mobile phones are mobile for a reason, and once the user dislikes something, like being obstructed — they’re gone.


If we look at all the types of devices available in the market, they have a different ratio of performance-portability. Performance is not only about RAM power etc., it is also about convenience to look at several things at once. Traditional desktops are the kings of performance, but they require a dedicated zone in a house. Usually, employees and homebodies match this description as if by the book. They have time to think things through, so lead gens and other offers, dealing with big sums, should be reserved for them.

Mobile phones, on the other hand, reign in terms of portability. Dating, small eCommerce, iGaming — everything for entertainment suit this device well. Their users incline to be less thoughtful as their desktop counterparts, so give them what they want.

Tablets tend to be a luxurious device, as this gadget usually appears after owning a cellphone and PC. Which is why their owners are relatively well-off grown-ups. Surprisingly, this device is actively used to go through emails, so this kind of marketing is your go-to, if you’d like to remind the audience about yourself.

Laptops are potentially the most universal out of all the devices, being jacks-of-all-trades. Students and businessmen alike use them to achieve their goals and entertain themselves. Still, when facing a choice between a cellphone and notebook, you’d most likely use the former for social communications yourself, so you don’t have to leave your bed. Laptops are better-off for in-depth research, so the offers, requiring prudent decision-making, are better suited for this category of devices. At the same time, let’s not forget about tech-savvy gamers, which might be inclined toward impulse buying: RGB keyboard, gaming chair, and latest AAA games.

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