More British adults know their mobile phone number by heart than their parents’ birth date and middle name, according to new research from cloud communications platform, Infobip, while, with Mother’s day around the corner, a quarter of Brits don’t know their mum’s date of birth.
The findings come from the Me, myself and I phone research series, commissioned by cloud communications platform, Infobip. It polled 2,000 British consumers to examine how important our phones are to us in comparison to other parts of our lives.
The research reveals more than three-quarters (77%) of UK adults know their mobile phone number by heart, but only 73% know their mother’s date of birth. It appears that Brits know even less about their dad– 68% know their father’s middle name and just 66% know their father’s date of birth.
Forget romance – for Millennials, their longest relationship is with their number
Our love for mobile phones trumps more than family knowledge. The average British person has only changed their mobile phone number once in the past decade, the research shows. This means that, in the last 10 years, people have changed their home, job and car more often than their mobile number.
The survey asked British people about significant changes in their lives – whether they’ve moved to a new house, bought a new car or mobile phone, changed mobile phone number, started a new job or romantic relationship and whether they’ve changed their surname. It revealed that in the last 10 years, the average person has had 1.6 cars, 1.2 jobs, 1.1 homes, 1 mobile phone number and 0.9 romantic relationships.
In fact, UK adults aged under 35 have had a longer bond with their phone number than any romantic relationship they’ve had. The longest time people aged between 18-34 have had a phone number is just over seven years (7.1), whereas their longest romantic relationship is six years.
Changing number harder than changing surname
For many people, changing their mobile phone number is one of the most inconvenient things in their lives.
On average, British people have had their mobile phone number for nine years and almost half (48%) have never changed it. Those aged 55+ are particularly tied to their digits, having the same number for 11 years, while 63% aged 55+ have never changed their number.
When we do eventually change our number, it’s most likely because we’ve simply changed network provider. Nearly a third (33%) said they had changed their number because they had a new contract. But clingy exes and annoying cold calls also appear to have forced people to switch digits. Nine percent of people have changed number to avoid someone, such as a former partner and 7% to avoid nuisance callers.
For those aged 35-54, changing their home address (31%) is the only thing more inconvenient than changing their mobile number. In fact, respondents in that age group cite changing their mobile phone number (28%) as more inconvenient than changing their own surname (26%).
A lot can change around us, but our phone number is clearly something we want to hang on to. It’s part of our identity. Businesses are starting to realise this and want to reach people when they’re most captivated – scrolling through their mobile phone. But spamming customers with useless information could see brands adding themselves to the list of nuisance callers that many of us try so desperately to avoid. This is especially important following a year where people have been relying on their mobile phones more than ever to communicate with family and friends, and to access services. Businesses will do well to have this in mind when communicating with consumers and should take steps to ensure every interaction is well pitched, relevant and useful – sending a notification to inform a passenger that their taxi is waiting for them outside their house, for example.
Nikhil Shoorji, Managing Director Europe at Infobip