Cellulographics is a great new tool to measure smartphone use

5 Apr 2022 Jana Sosnová

Smartphones have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Whether we watch funny videos or look up serious news, we rarely detach our eyes from their glowing screens. According to Dr. Prateek Kalia, his new concept can shed light on the ways we use smartphones.

Could you briefly explain what is cellulographics?

Cellulographics is a very powerful classification metric which helps us to map customers based on their smartphone use. In other words, it is an interdisciplinary concept which allows us to better understand the complexities of smartphone use.

Why did you feel there was a need for a new metric in the field of marketing?

Currently, available market segmentations are very old. If we consider the conventional four segmentations, the most recent one, psychographics, was proposed in 1971. Numerous technological developments have taken place since then. Especially computers, the Internet, and now smartphones have changed the way people receive and use information.

Could you give us an example where cellulographics can be useful?

Let us consider wealthy customers who avoid online shopping or online banking due to poor smartphone use skills. Here, if we segment the customers based on wealth and income, which belong to the area of demographics, we may reach the wrong conclusions. Typically, researchers and students tend to favour old segmentation criteria like demographics for collecting data for their thesis, projects, or articles. I always recommend them to upgrade.

What exactly are the advantages of cellulographics?

Just like salt and sugar are the basic ingredients for cooking, I consider cellulographics an essential element for any smartphone-related study. Thanks to its simplicity, this concept can be included into a questionnaire very easily. Also, cellulographics is not limited to marketing. In fact, it is interdisciplinary, and it can be applied to any field of study where smartphone use is involved.

Which fields do you have in mind?

For example, in medicine, cellulographics can be useful for the study of health issues related to heavy smartphone use such as insomnia, decreased sleep quality, or muscle pain and stiffness. Psychologists may apply it when researching smartphone addiction, stress, or various forms of anxiety. In sociology, child neglect, online interactions or family relationships may be studied using the concept. However, there are many more fields where cellulographics can be applied since it is very flexible and may be coupled with device-related characteristics like hardware and software specifications of smartphones or characteristics such as Internet connection speed, data plan, network quality, etc.

When did you first conceive the idea for cellulographics?

In 2016 when I was in the last year of my PhD. Since my thesis was related to online retail and service quality, I was reading a lot of scientific literature on electronic commerce, the Internet and computer penetration. I realized that smartphones are like minicomputers that we carry with us throughout the day and that they are surpassing computers in their pervasion worldwide creating digital dependence. They are versatile, portable, and accessible round the clock.

I searched the scientific literature and found that a classification based on smartphone use was missing. I sensed a huge opportunity. Consequently, I wrote a draft at the beginning of 2017. Then, I discussed the idea with my elder sister, who is also a scientist. She gave me very good feedback and suggested the name ‘cellulographics’ for the first time. I was very excited about the idea, and I decided to apply for a copyright in February 2017 which I received later that year. It was a huge encouragement for me at that moment.

How long were you developing this concept?

The entire development process took approximately six years. In 2018, I worked at a university in India. The position was administrative, and I had to commute four hours daily, leaving very little time to work on my ideas. After joining the Faculty of Economics and Administration at Masaryk University, I could finally focus on my own research. As a result, I made considerable progress on the concept of cellulographics.

Did the global pandemic influence the process in any way?

COVID-19 pandemic forced the entire world to adopt a “digital lifestyle”. This was my second calling because I strongly felt that a proper classification metric based on smartphone use is required. In 2021, I discussed the idea with my co-authors Prof. Yogesh K. Dwivedi and Angel Acevedo-Duque, and finally, in 2022, we introduced cellulographics to the world.

Can cellulographics be used as a tool for understanding global events such as war or natural disasters?

Throughout the world, smartphones have become pivotal devices for the exchange of information. In case of any big event, information such as texts, pictures, or videos spread very fast through various social networking applications used by smartphone users. For example, it would be interesting to know whether the users with high or low smartphone experience and use are involved in the spread of fake news, or at what times and where they indulge in such activity.

What about marketing strategies of non-governmental organizations? Can cellulographics be of use there?

Yes. For example, it would be quite interesting to know whether smartphone users become more compassionate towards a situation and donate more generously or if too much news and information make them indifferent.


The interview is based on the recently published article by Dr. Prateek Kalia which is currently among the most popular articles published in Journal of Innovation and Knowledge.

Market segmentation

One of the key components of marketing is market segmentation, through which companies try to understand the customers and develop their marketing strategies. The oldest type is geographical segmentation, followed by demographics. In 1960s, behavioural segmentation was popular among the researchers who proposed classifications based on brand loyalty, benefits, and usage. Later in the 1970s, psychographic segmentation was introduced which classified the customer based on their value, attitude, lifestyle, and personality. With the development of new technologies, more classifications such as technographics and webographics emerged which emphasized the migration of customers to the online environment.

Dr. Prateek Kalia is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Corporate Economy, Faculty of Economics and Administration. Before that, he worked as a director and professor at a leading university in North India. He is a specialist in the field of management with a keen interest in digital retail, cyberpsychology, e-service quality and online consumer behaviour. His articles are published in leading international journals (such as the Journal of Innovation & Knowledge and many more). Dr. Kalia presented his work at several national and international conferences and received awards and accolades. In 2022, he introduced a new concept of cellulographics and holds the copyright for it.

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