Take out your smartphone—now. Count your apps. How many do you have? How many do you actually use? In an increasingly appified world, that distinction is critical to brand marketers wondering if they should jump into the fray.
It seems like only yesterday when Apple began advertising “there’s an app for that” and ushered in an avalanche of new apps for just about anything and everything. Brands noticed too. Many brand managers and CMOs found themselves asking: “what does this mean for my brand?” and, more importantly, “does my brand need an app?” to better connect with or engage consumers.
Nielsen recently took a hard look at app usage to better understand how consumers use them. Here are some key findings:
Does this trend of channel overload sound familiar? I see a clear parallel to TV, where even as the number of channels and average hours of consumption have increased over time, the average number of channels watched has stayed close to flat—17, if you’re interested. We’re seeing the same thing in app usage—more overall time spent on apps, but not many more apps being used.
Now, ask yourself a really hard question: “how likely, really, is it that consumers would use an app from my brand as one of the 27 apps they use each month?” The answer depends a lot on what kind of brand you have.
The data shows that over 80 percent of time on apps is in three categories:
So, if you’re Google or Facebook or CBS Sports or Snapchat, all looks good. Consumers are clearly spending more time per app—allowing for more immersive experiences for content and advertising within their chosen channels.
If you’re an average brand manager, you really have to think twice about what this means for your brand.
I think it means two things:
Apps are here to stay—the explosive growth proves it. I just checked my smartphone. I have almost 80 apps. That’s a bit more than 3x the average consumer. And you know what? Most of them are search, social, portals, entertainment and communication—and almost all are advertising opportunities for your brand. So, use consumers’ increasing love affair with apps to your advantage—by advertising on them.