Why Moms Download SmartPhone Apps

Moms’ love affair with smartphones is longstanding– but the depth of that love affair (and who that love affair’s really about) may surprise you. The majority of mothers have downloaded over 16 apps to their respective smartphones. Meanwhile, 74% let their children play regularly on their phones.

Mom Central’s recent Momnibus survey digs deeper into maternal smartphone usage, particularly, moms’ relationships with apps and how involved their children are in their purchase.

Beyond the 51% who have downloaded 16+ apps, 14% of moms have downloaded 11-15 apps while 19% have downloaded 6-10 apps.  Only 1 in 10 (13%) have downloaded 1-5 apps.

Where do moms find out about apps? Mainly, online. While 22% rely on word of mouth, even more rely on review blogs (33%) and their favorite app stores (29%). This makes landing placements on popular app blogs even more important.

Mom Central also looked into which app categories were downloaded most frequently, finding that social networking (82%), games (80%), and entertainment (78%) were quite popular.  Equally important in addition to app theme was app price – more than half of moms surveyed spend $.99 or less per app.

While the above stats all sound very promising – marketers should keep in mind that their apps need to grab moms soon after download. Whereas nearly 50% report using their favorite app at least once per day – 20% reported deleting apps after only one use.

As smartphone usage continues to increase in the U.S., reaching mom on her mobile will continue to become more important. To read the full Momnibus report, please visit Mom Central.

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Pew Releases New Global Social Networking Data

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After the United States, do you know which nations are most active within social media? You may be surprised.

According to recent Pew global social media research, Poland is the second most active social networking country globally, followed by Great Britain, South Korea, and France. 

Germans and Japanese stood out amongst their peers for their lack of social networking, while users from Russia and Brazil embrace the social web with opened browsers.

Even though both Russia and Brazil have minimal internet access, their nations’ webizens are frequent social media users: 33% of each country engages in social networking although over 50% of their total populace has no internet access.

Pew also analyzed demographic differences in social networking. For all the recent buzz about baby boomers on Facebook, the most active demographic were those younger than 30.  Only the U.S., Great Britain, and Poland, saw active networkers between the ages of 30-49.

In terms of cell phone use across 16 polled countries, cell phone usage has increased by 36% since 2002. Roughly 81% of the globally polled population polled now owns a cell phone. Russia (now 82%) saw the largest increase from 2002, when only 8% of the nation owned a cell phone.

While an increase in global social media use has been trending for some time, Pew’s new findings cements what most global marketers already knew: developing a global brand strategy is vital before engaging with increasingly global social media audiences.

Most importantly, if your brand manages multiple social media channels across countries, ensure that they are aligned with the global strategy, amidst local activations. Otherwise, global brand fans may becoming confused by local programming or, worse – become offended by another market’s campaign or promotion that’s not in line with their cultural values.

As the world get’s smaller, consider how you can connect with your global counterparts to create a fluid global strategy. Pew’s research should also help your brand determine when to invest in local market social/mobile programming to reach your target and when to leave the message to a universally applicable default.

Who’s Playing Mobile Games?

This time last year, we learned that the average social gamer was a 43-year old woman. Considering that the average traditional gamer is 34 and male, the insight was particularly notable and led the way for marketers looking to engage with women via social games.

Now that we’re firmly entrenched in 2011, a new gaming stat is sure to delight brands looking to skew younger: the average mobile gamer is 28 and female, according to mobile analytics firm Flurry.

Put differently, while mom is busy playing Farmville on Facebook, her niece is maxing out her mobile data plan on Angry Birds.

The younger age for mobile isn’t too surprising, considering that the heaviest mobile users reside in younger demographics. However knowing that female gamers(53%) outnumber men(47%) further supports the growing trend first shared in 2010 – that of women are amongst the fastest growing segments using mobile web.   In 2010, Opera reported a 575 per cent increase in the number of women browsing the internet on their mobiles, compared with a 223 per cent growth measured amongst men.

Flurry’s recent report also showed that the mobile gaming audience is incredibly large – and growing. If the traditional console audience is estimated at 180 million (not too shabby), mobile gaming is estimated at 200 million. To put those numbers into perspective, the average primetime audience is 20 million.

The report also estimated that 250 million unique mobile devices are currently in use, with over 750,000 new devices coming online daily.

Judging from the above, it’s clear that there a significant mobile gamer audience exists and hungry for content. The challenge for brands will be breaking through the already crowded space to reach them.

Depending on your budget, consider whether it’s worth creating an entirely new app (which you will then need to have budget to promote). Alternatively, you could reap the same awareness by integrating your products within an already popular app via an ad buy or mobile promotion.