What Would You Give Up To Keep Your Smartphone?

Mobile App Research Reveals What You Need To Know

Mobile Apps-HeidiCohen Smartphones are the center of our 21st century lives.

47% of Americans can’t go more than 24 hours without their smartphone according to BankAmerica research. Tweet This

Sorry television, coffee and social media–BUT smartphones outrank you in terms of daily necessity! Americans grade smartphones on a par with deodorant and cars.  Mobile Phones In Daily Lives-BankAmerica Research-2014-2

Give me my smartphone!

Americans would forgo a number of personal pleasures rather than give up their smartphones.

  • 13% would give up SEX instead of their smartphones. Tweet This
  • 34% would give up CHOCOLATE instead of their smartphones. Tweet This
  • 45% would give up ALCOHOL instead of their smartphones. Tweet This

Pleasures Americans Would Give Up To Keep Their Mobile Phones-BankAmerica-2014

While smartphones are important to us, it’s mobile apps that transform our smartphones into the powerful tools we can’t live without.

To motivate prospects to find, install and use your mobile app, it must fulfill a specific need and provide real value. NOTE: Don’t underestimate the value of saving users time. Remember – mobile app utility is about your users, not your programmers.

Smartphones: Where we spend our time

US consumers spend 2 hrs and 42 minutes per day in 2014 on a mobile device according to Flurry Analytics. A 4 minute per day increase over 2013 or 2.5% year-over-year.

Mobile apps devour 86% of the average US mobile consumer’s time in 2014. Compared to 2013, app usage increased 12 minutes per day or 9.5%. By contrast, time spent on the mobile web decreased to 14% or a mere 22 minutes per day. Mobile Apps Dominate - 2014-Flurry-1

Deeper analysis of time spent on connected devices (iOS and Android) reveals the following:

  1. 32% of our time spent on connected devices is gaming, the biggest single category. Smartphones have become our babysitters.
  2. 28% of our time spent on connected devices is engaged in social media. Of this, Facebook (including Instagram) accounts for 17% of our time, Twitter accounts for a mere 1.5% of our time, and other social messaging accounts for 9.5% of our time. (Note: Other research revealed that pinners tended to use the mobile app.)
  3. 8% of our time spent on connected devices is entertainment. YouTube accounts for 50% of mobile entertainment time despite Netflix’s popularity and the expansion of television content onto mobile platforms.

   Time Spent On Mobile-Flurry-2014-1

What’s missing from this analysis? Time spent managing email. It may be incorporated in other categories.

Mobile app research

Mobile app downloads worldwide are expected to grow from 134.15 billion in 2014 to 341.89 billion in 2018 based on April 2014 Yankee Group estimates. (Here are 21 ways to promote your mobile app.)

Like it or not, your mobile app influences how your audience perceives your brand.

Maximize mobile app screen real estate with images and to a lesser extent prices since space and attention are LIMITED. Offer quick and accessible alternative views including the ability to zoom in and out to imitate an in-store experience.

Reduce text to the bare essentials in your mobile app. Most people don’t focus on it. Eye-trackiing Heatmap-Mobile App-Plasatic Mobile 2014

Minimize mobile app load time or risk app abandonment! Ideally app load should be less than 5 seconds. Avoid delays throughout the purchase process, especially checkout where you risk loosing the sale. Only use rich content when absolutely necessary because it slows app performance. Eye Tracking Heat Map on Mobile App Load Time-Plastic Mobile-2014

Mobile app retention

Mobile app retention rates worldwide, measured by the average number of times the app is used during the first 6 months, are improving. Specifically, the percentage of people launching the app only once dropped to 20% in March 2014. Further, percentage of people using the app 11 or more times increased to 39%.   Mobile App Usage - eMarketer-1

Sports and games abandonment rates exceed 20%.

Mobile addicts, users who use apps 60+ times a day, increased 123% from March 2013 to March 2014 according to Flurry research.  Mobile App Super Users - eMarketer-1

Mobile app monetization

There are 6 main forms of mobile app monetization. Of course, your mobile app may exist solely to drive branded content engagement.

  1. Freemium. The app download is free but the customer has to make in-app purchases.
  2. Paid. The app download is purchased but there are no additional fees.
  3. Paid plus. The app download is purchased and there are additional in-app purchases available.
  4. In-app advertising. Offers a variety of different ad formats.
  5. Hybrid. Involves a mix of fees.
  6. Other revenue models. Drive revenue by aiding product purchase or usage opportunities. The Amazon and Netflix apps exemplify these monetization formats.

The freemium model is the dominant form of monetization based on mobile app research by IDC and App Annie.

Freemium most prevalent Monetizing your mobile app requires a large installed user base. To optimize user experience, limit in-app advertising that hinders app use.

The sweet spot for paid apps is between $2 and $6 based on IDC and AppAnnie research.  Paid app pricing sweet spot-2

Mobile app advertising improves with increased app usage. Like other forms of media as your mobile app attracts a broader user base, the better you can monetize the traffic.  Mobile app advertising improves with usage

Face it—smartphones are a part of our 21st century lives as humans and marketers.

To reach your target audience where they spend their time, you need a mobile marketing strategy that includes mobile apps.

But developing your mobile app is only the first step of the process. You must build your audience and keep them returning to use your app.

To this end, provide REAL value for your users.

What has your experience with mobile apps been as a marketer?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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  • http://www.7eyetechnologies.com Kristina Roy

    I am really impressed with your analytical post. I am glad you pointed this out. You shared good infographic about Smartphone that is very useful information to all internet users. Thanks Heidi Cohen for this useful post.

  • Nancy

    My company did some research to see how smartphones get us hooked. Could you go without your smartphone for a day, a week, or forever? http://www.frontrange.com/sites/default/files/nomophobia-mobile-phone-addiction-withdrawal-challenge.png

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