Most popular Android Apps

Going Mobile: From Why to How. (Google Mobile Webinar)

Last week, we Google presented a webinar,“Going Mobile: From Why to How?” on the five fundamental components to a mobile advertising strategy to help you get started. Google Product Marketing Manager, Sonja Lee and Mobile Specialist, Angela Sherman presented key statistics surrounding the current state of the mobile landscape, particularly looking ahead into the holiday season, and presented a deep dive on the five things that every mobile advertiser should do:

1. Mobilizing your web presence

2. Set up separate mobile-only campaigns

3. Think Local with Mobile

4. Utilize mobile-unique ad formats

5. Track and optimize your mobile performance

Watch the webinar

Top 20 Android Apps in the US: Women Like Facebook, Men Love Maps and Mail

Source: Nielsen, September 13, 2011

According to the first mobile media rankings based on audience measurement data from metered Android smartphone usage, aside from the Android Market app itself, Facebook, Google Maps and Gmail were the most used among U.S. Android users 18 years and older. To determine each apps “active reach,” — the percentage of Android owners who used an app within the past 30 days — Nielsen analyzed the data from on-device meters on thousands of Android smartphones.

While many of the top 20 apps, including the streaming music service Pandora and two versions of the popular game Angry Birds, showed similar usage by both men and women, there were notable differences in active reach for social apps. Facebook’s mobile app saw an active reach of 81 percent for women compared to 69 percent for male Android users. Twitter also had slightly higher active reach among women (16.5%) than men (13.4%). However, Google+, Google’s new social network, had more than twice the active reach among men (15.8%) than women (7.2%).

Outside of social media, apps like Amazon’s Kindle and Words With Friends showed higher active reach among women, while apps like Quickoffice Pro and the Amazon Appstore had higher active reach among male Android smartphone owners. And despite the stereotype that men don’t like asking for directions, they seemed pretty comfortable using Google Maps, which has 77 percent active reach among men compared to 71.8 percent among women.

For more Android user trends and insights, sign up for Nielsen’s September 15 webinar, All About Android.

Android Users prefer apps

While Nielsen reports that Android users prefer apps to mobile web, the key takeaway here for marketers is not “make more apps.” Apps usage is very much a long tail, whereby the core apps, e.g., weather, news, etc., make up the majority of overall usage. In fact, the top 10 Android apps account for 43 percent of all the time spent by Android consumers on mobile apps.

Games Most Popular Mobile App Category in US

According to Nielsen, games continue to be the most popular app category, and according to Nielsen research, 93 percent of app downloaders — those who have downloaded an app within the past 30 days –  are willing to pay for the games they play. In contrast, only 76 percent of downloaders are willing to pay for news apps.

Among smartphone consumers who have played mobile games in the past 30 days, those with iPhones, Windows 7 phones or Android phones are the most likely to have downloaded the games they played, while those with Blackberry phones or featurephones tend to play pre-loaded games.  The average mobile gamer plays an average of 7.8 hours a month.  Those with iPhones tend to play around 14.7 hours each month while those with Android smartphones play around 9.3 hours per month.

What Works When Targeting Android App Users

No doubt about it, Android users love their apps. In fact, 56 percent of all activity on Android smartphones according to data shared by Jonathan Carson, CEO of Telecom at Nielsen, during Nielsen’s Consumer 360 conference.

Branded apps that “give back” are much more popular than other apps. Rewards apps are particularly popular.

When it comes to promoting and marketing an app, Carson underscored the importance of “word-of-mouth.” In fact, for branded apps, it is the most common form of “discovery.” (For other kinds of apps, “searching the app store” is tops.) Consumers also indicated that brand affinity and third party endorsements in the form of ratings and reviews were crucial in their decision to download a branded app.

Additional musts for a successful app:

  • Define success in advance: Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to achieve? What are the right metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPI)?
  • Apps can support your strategy; they are not a strategy in and of themselves
  • Give consumers something useful: price comparisons, stain removal tips, recipes, weather
  • Protect the brand: A great app can revitalize your brand, a “buggy” one will destroy it

Read more

The Growth of QR Codes

Source: Mobile Marketer, Associate Editor Chantal Tode, May 11, 2011

Mobile bar code scanning has increased by 4,549 percent in the first quarter of 2011 on a year-over-year basis, according to a Mobio Identity Systems study. With the increase in smartphone purchases for both iPhone and Android devices, which have a pre-installed QR reader, there is growing awareness among consumers of QR codes compared to a year ago. “The iPhone 4 and Android have helped build a mass market of people who are able to scan QR bar codes,” said Mark Binns, chief marketing officer at Mobio, Vancouver, Canada.

Brands such as Calvin Klein and Conde Nast have also helped drive awareness of QR codes by placing them in their TV, print, Web and out-of-home advertising. “Ultimately, the pairing of QR ready smartphones and QR bar codes in advertising – which simply was not the case a year ago – has driving the dramatic growth.”

One of the findings in the report, “The Naked Facts: Whiplash Edition, QR Bar code Scanning in Q1-2011,” is that consumers between the ages of 35 and 44 continue to dominate mobile bar code scanning, accounting for 26 percent of users.

QR barcodes go mainstream
Women also show a higher interest in using QR codes, accounting for 68 percent of users.
These numbers have big implications for advertisers.

“QR barcodes are no longer just a way to speak to early adopters, or the geek crowd,” Mr. Binns said. “QR codes have gone mainstream and are being used heavily by women who are head decision makers and purchasers in households.” Mobio offers target rich environments where advertisers use multiple barcodes tied to different outcomes or campaigns to engage their consumers multiple times.

The vast majority of mobile bar code scans are centered on providing more information about a product or service, with 89 percent of scans falling into this category. Payments only account for 6 percent of scans, but this is a growing area, per Mr. Binns. “Mobile payments require a higher level of trust between the consumer and the brand than an information exchange requires,” he said. “Brands and QR providers need to continue to educate consumers on the safety of QR codes.”

In terms of the type of media scanned, social media accounts for 70 percent of scans, TV 22 percent, the physical world four percent, online three percent and print one percent. The iPhone is the most popular scanning device, followed by the iPod Touch and then, Android. The report also shows that consumers are not just trying QR codes once and forgetting about them, but are becoming repeat users of the technology.
In fact, repeat scanners account for 62 percent of the market.

For marketers, this means QR codes can provide a way to have an ongoing conversation with consumers. “QR isn’t a one-off medium anymore,” Mr. Binns said. “Marketers can change their QR codes in ads each day, week or month, and have an ongoing dialogue with their consumer.”

American Express and LevelUp Announce New Couponless Loyalty Deals

Source: Mobile Marketing Watch, May 10, 2011

Credit card juggernaut American Express has announced a new partnership with mobile location solutions provider LevelUp to roll out a pilot program that will deliver “couponless” loyalty rewards to consumers.

Taking what the partners call a significant step forward in the social deal space, American Express’ Smart Offer APIs will now enable cardmembers to redeem LevelUp deals by simply enrolling and using their cards, “removing the need for punch-cards, coupons, and the associated hassle at the point of sale.”

According to the formal announcement by American Express, when a cardmember uses his or her enrolled card at a merchant, the LevelUp savings will be automatically delivered via a statement credit to the card account.

For the time being, however, the effort will remain a multi-city pilot program, possibly poised for a national roll out if the initial response proves successful. The first wave of participating cities include San Francisco, Boston and Philadelphia.

Eligible cardmembers will instantly receive notification via their mobile devices indicating that a statement credit is on its way and that they have “leveled up,” unlocking the next, more attractive offer from that merchant. The levels include:

  • Level #1: Spend $10, Get $20
  • Level #2: Spend $10, Get $30
  • Level #3: Spend $10, Get $50

This launch, the involved parties reveal, also marks the first time Android’s new push notification technology is used in market.

“Today’s news represents significant innovation in location and mobile-commerce,” said Rich Miner, partner at Google Ventures and co-creator of the Android platform. “The combination of American Express’s Smart Offer APIs, LevelUp’s loyalty-retail experience, and the new Android push notification system provides a frictionless transaction experience for everyone involved – consumers and merchants alike.”