There is no denying the growing importance of mobile devices these days – people of all ages, professions and locations are constantly on their phones for work and social purposes. What may not be as obvious is the "why". AOL's Vicki Draper, Senior Manager Consumer Analytics and Research, and Denise Brien, Director of Consumer Analytics and Research, partnered with BBDO to find out. Their study, "Seven Shades of Mobile," just received the annual EXPLOR award, and we thought it would be a perfect time to catch up with Vicki to chat about the study and learn a bit more about her. Here is what they uncovered...

"Having the consumer in mind and being able to engage and meet their needs is critical," says Draper. In her role, Draper conducts and coordinates research initiatives across the organization, which, in turn, helps to position AOL as a thought leader in the industry.

The study was conducted in order to learn more about the behavior of mobile users, specifically smartphone users. "To truly see the deeper motivations behind what people are doing in the mobile sphere. A lot of research is out there on this, but no one answered what we have found on this research," she explained.

Vicki was surprised by three results of this study in particular: "We found out that 68% of all smartphone use was in home - flying in the face of conventional wisdom. Also, we learned that it's not about utility; it's actually much more about 'Me Time' and people spending time on themselves. We found it very interesting that people have different, non–intuitive motivations and paths to get to apps and website in the mobile space. For instance, some people will visit shopping sites on their phones to buy things where others will use shopping sites and apps as a way to relax and get their 'me time'. This has huge implications for the way publishers and marketers program for mobile."

The study has proved to be a trailblazer in mobile research, earning the EXPLOR award last week, at The Market Research Event, for their innovation in technology, as applied to market research. There is only one winner each year for this award and Vicki along with the rest of the team earned this year's title. "Winning this award was my single proudest moment," Vicki said.

In January, Vicki will be presenting Seven Shades of Mobile and several other studies during Engadget's "Tablets of Change" forum at the globally recognized Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

What does Vicki do when she's not finding insights? When she's not in the office Vicki finds her enjoyment as a competitive Latin Ballroom dancer. In October, she won first place awards in cha cha, samba, rumba, paso doble and jive at the Paragon Open Dancesport Competition in New Jersey. She also enjoys going on wine tasting vacations and recently traveled with her husband to the Pfalz and Mosel wine regions in Germany.

For additional information on Seven Shades of Mobile click here. To see the full results from the study visit http://advertising.aol.com/research/research-reports/seven-shades-mobile