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Both apps and mobile Web sites should be considered by marketers: study

Although applications can be an incredible brand experience and provide an extraordinary level of connectivity with consumers, only a handful of them completely dominate, leaving the rest fighting for an audience, according to a Moosylvania study.

The study, designed by Great Questions LLC and fielded by First Choice Facilities Research, polled 7,000 respondents split equally among men and women. Of those 7,000 respondents, 61 percent use a smartphone and 80 percent of the smartphone users, use applications.

?Both apps and mobile Web sites should be considered by marketers,? said Norty Cohen, founder/CEO of Moosylvania. ?The study asked consumers which they use more and 48 percent of consumers chose the mobile Web and 52 percent chose apps. 

?Each has specific opportunities and limitations,? he said.

Apps used regularly?
The Moosylvania study found that 30 applications were the norm per smartphone. But, most mobile application users (85 percent men and 75 percent women) reported that they only use about 10 of them on a regular basis.

This should give marketers pause before jumping on the mobile application bandwagon, according to Moosylvania.

The top 10 applications cited among the male respondents who use mobile applications were Google Maps (14 percent) followed by Facebook (13 percent), Pandora (6 percent), Weather (3.2 percent), ESPN (3.1 percent), Angry Birds (2 percent), Words With Friends (1.4 percent), Shazam (1.3 percent) and Yahoo (0.9 percent).

Twitter and Yelp tied for tenth place at 0.8 percent each.

?Mobile is a critical channel for any marketing initiative ? with 61 percent of all consumers using smartphones ? and of those, 80 percent using apps regularly,? Mr. Cohen said. ?The top apps offer the highest level of functionality and usability at minimal consumer costs.

?Consumers will adopt up to 30 favorites and stick with 10 of them for these reasons,? he said.

Females using apps
For female respondents who use mobile applications, the top 10 application picks were Facebook (27 percent), Google Maps (7 percent), Weather (5 percent), Pandora (4.5 percent), Twitter (2.9 percent), Google (2.5 percent), Words with Friends (2.4 percent), Shazam (1.4 percent) and Solitaire (1.1 percent). Bank of America and Calendar tied for tenth place (0.9 percent each).

Despite the seemingly endless hype over applications, almost half (48 percent) of the mobile app users in the Moosylvania study said they used the Internet more than apps on their smartphones. This begs the question: Are mobile Web sites a viable and, in some cases, more cost-efficient option to consider?

?The opportunity to create personal connectivity with core consumers is growing concurrently with smart phone adoption,? Mr. Cohen said. ?Formulate clear objectives for a defined target audience and understand their needs. 

?Consider creating both apps and mobile Web programming which are relevant, to maintain interest over time,? he said. ?Different mobile channels/tactics answer different brand needs ? there may be existing mobile media that works equally as well as creating custom programs.?