Apps vs mobile web and marketing to millennials

Two years ago, Prof Sunil Gupta of Harvard Business School wrote on our blog about the evolution of mobile marketing, and the different ways consumers used apps and mobile web.

He wrote that: "behind the headline shift in media consumption sits a less expected trend away from aimless internet browsing of the kind that advertisers love, towards 'doing' things, 86% of smartphone owners' time is spent using apps, only 14% browsing the web."

Since then, the trend away from the web to apps has only continued , and for those that get it right, there is a huge and immediate revenue opportunity: compared to mobile web, spend on apps is 20x greater, conversion 300%, and AOV 140% higher.

And the largest audience for these apps is millennials. They spend more time online than any other demographic - reportedly 7.43 hours per day. And they spend most of their time in apps rather than on the mobile web one survey found that for every 19mins they spent in Safari, millennials spend 1.9 hours in apps.

Monetising Millennials

Of millennials, 35% say they will make a purchase on mobile today. Another 35% want to purchase on mobile, but think it's too hard. They value exceptional user experience, but only notice it when it's absent , they take it for granted otherwise.

So how do you access them? You have to combine two nuggets of truth buried in the stereotype of lazy, ungrateful, sensitive, entitled and attention seeking millennials. The first is that they are permanently attached to their phones, and this is therefore the best way to reach them. But reach them with what?
How to target Millennial audiences

While to older generations they all seem to be, think and act the same, millennials consider themselves independent thinkers. They trust each other much more than any established sources of authority, and they trust recommendations more than any other channel, according to Nielsen.

Producing engaging and shareable content is the way to combine the attachment to the phone with the trust of peers and the suspicion of others.

And for those who get it right, there is an estimated US$8tn revenue opportunity waiting to be captured.

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