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Keep a balanced investment between apps and mobile Web: Microsoft Advertising

A Microsoft study found that consumer usage of mobile Web browsers and mobile apps is equal, signaling the importance for marketers to keep a balanced investment between the two.

The Microsoft data shows that there are no significant behavioral differences across mobile operating systems. Thus, marketers should consider campaigns that include multiple handsets to achieve the campaign objectives and optimize reach metrics instead of focusing on select OSs, per Microsoft.

?Consumers are more engaged with mobile than we think,? said Pavan Li, senior research manager at Microsoft Advertising, Redmond, WA. ?Our findings showed nine of 10 mobile Internet users have used mobile search and eight of 10 mobile Internet users have used their mobile device as part of their purchase process.

?Focus on the reach instead of the OS,? she said. 

A Forrester Research study predicts that marketers will finally allocate sufficient funds into mobile, with an estimated $1 billion in spend for mobile display and search advertising by year-end.

The Microsoft Advertising mobile ad network reaches 55 percent of U.S. mobile Internet users, according to Nielsen?s May 2010 Mobile Media View.

Microsoft?s mobile ad network reaches users on the following handsets:  59 percent on iPhone, 53 percent on Android, 45 percent on BlackBerry and 55 percent on feature phones, per Nielsen.

Mobile Web and apps are both important
Here are some of the main takeaways of the Microsoft research:

Mobile has become a part of cross-media consumption

There are more heavy mobile Web users than heavy app users

Mobile ad exposure impact store traffic

Multi-screen exposure drives increased brand interaction and conversion

Microsoft Advertising advises marketers to keep a balanced investment between applications and the mobile Web. 

Maintaining a balanced approach with on-deck and off-deck ads targeting both the mobile Web and apps will increase the success of mobile campaigns aimed at driving consumer reach and engagement, per Microsoft.

?To maximize audience reach and engagement, marketers need to consider a more balanced approach to mobile campaigns that include mobile browsers as well as mobile apps across multiple handsets, including Windows Phone 7, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and feature phones,? Ms. Li said.

?Based on our findings, iPhone users are the most balanced users between apps and browser,? she said. ?It is completely different from what we would assume due to the focus on iPhone apps in the consumer and trade press.?

Final Take
Jessica Greenwood, director of Contagious Magazine