A research report released by The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) drops hints to marketers to accord as much value to mobile search as to the apps. The report has highlighted the often underrated importance of the mobile web.
While survey respondents perceived themselves to be using the mobile web and apps equally, comScore data suggested otherwise. According to the measurement metrics, mobile users spend 88 percent of their time in apps.
The research explores the layers under the comScore metrics, which suggest the smartphone users spend more than 88 percent of their mobile time in the app environment. As the study has revealed the app time is actually mobile web use in disguise. People are now arriving at and viewing mobile websites through several pathways, including apps, and advertisers will do well to realign their mobile marketing strategies.
The IAB study discovered that only 18 percent of smartphone owners using the mobile internet say they spend more time using mobile apps than browsing websites. However, 52% of smartphone owners say they click links within apps to view content on mobile websites. Though these users may be technically operating within an app, they are also spending time on surfing the websites.
54 percent respondents said they relied on search to find mobile content. 29 percent discovered content through word of mouth and 26 percent found websites through social media on the mobile phones. The users widely used search in the various app stores as a content discovery tool. Search remains a critical tool for consumers on mobile phones, though they may not be as much as on the PC. For mobile search access, survey respondents tend to favor the mobile web over search apps.
The IAB poll of roughly 2,000 adults last December focused on mobile usage by consumers, and understand the relationship between usage of mobile apps and the mobile web. It seeks to explain the discrepancy in usage vs. perception, what is termed the ‘app gap’.
The message for marketers is not to neglect the mobile web. As the poll revealed, when it comes to using the mobile web or a mobile app, respondents either had preference toward the mobile web or demonstrated a balanced approach.54 Percent Mobile Users Rely on Search to Find Mobile Content - IAB Report,