Report: How Moms Use Their Mobile Devices
Mobile use continues to explode—and moms are a big part of the increase. When you consider that moms are at the center of several online trends, it only makes sense that they’re among the biggest users of mobile devices, too. I especially enjoy this kind of data, as it allows me to compare research against my own habits (and hopefully our female readers will do the same and share their thoughts). Here goes.
How Moms Use Mobile
Flurry Analytics’ report “How To Reach America’s Mobile Moms,” takes a closer look at how moms use their smartphones and tablets. One of the biggest ways they spend time on their devices? Gaming. Given that I can be found playing Scramble With Friends, Flow, 7 Little Words or Bookworm at any given moment in which I have some “escape time,” I’d say this is spot on. And for anyone who knows me, it’s probably no surprise that the vast majority of the games I like include words.
Other popular app genres include social networking, newsstand and lifestyle, meaning that moms are using their devices not only to stay up-to-date with their online networks, but also to consume content and find tools, resources and info that help them (and their families) live better lives. Again, very accurate. Every woman I know uses her device to check up on what’s happening on Facebook, read news, blogs, email and, well, you get my drift. Whether we’re in the office, meeting with clients, in the carpool line or at the park, our devices are omnipresent.
App usage is where moms start to differentiate ourselves from other mobile users. Flurry Analytics’ data shows that across iPhones, iPads and Android devices, moms spend much more time using educational apps than the average consumer. As mentioned, I’m attracted personally to games that are educational in nature, or at least challenging to the brain – and when it coms to my kids, I’m always downloading and testing out education apps – what about you? The research indicates that moms are also big fans of health and fitness apps (My FitnessPal is my BFF, as is my Nike FuelBand), as well as catalogs (hello, ecommerce).
And when compared to other mobile device users, the study reports that moms, as a whole, are more likely to use tablets (35% of moms compared to 25% of all Americans). That being said, the majority of moms still use smartphones—65%, to be exact. This is where I’d love to hear input from you. We have three iPads, but I rarely use any of them. They are most often used by the kids or my husband for games, surfing and video consumption. But for me, I mostly stick with my iPhone. What about you? A final point here is that Apple is a big winner, with 77% of moms owning iOS devices and only 23% owning Android models.
Why It Matters
Data like this is always interesting to gather and analyze. But what’s more important is the deeper story behind the data, namely the patterns and discoveries that help marketers dive more deeply into a particular demographic.
And if your company or client works with moms, paying attention to data like this is especially important. One example? Let’s say you’re considering app development. It’s always a good idea to serve as wide of a customer base as possible (without sacrificing product quality), but in looking at this latest data, not creating an iOS version of your app would be a big misstep.
Narrowing app usage down to specific apps isn’t as important as paying attention to which genres rank higher with your target audience. In this case, moms clock a lot of time with the following app categories: games, educational, newsstand, lifestyle, social networks and catalogs/shopping. Your mission? Serve content to them in the categories that matter (assuming it aligns with your product and/or service, of course). If moms are already making it a priority to use apps in the aforementioned categories, putting your app (and, by extension, your brand) on their radar in a way that easily aligns with their existing needs will give your mobile strategy a larger, more impactful reach.
One caveat? Don’t overlook the importance of conducting your own research. Reports like the Flurry one covered here are helpful when you want to look at overall trends and findings. Yet your specific audience may use their mobile devices differently, may prefer other types of apps or may differentiate themselves in other ways. Before you launch an app or campaign or any other strategic business element, do some legwork. Examine your data. Gather new sets of data. Do something crazy—like involving moms (especially if they’re your target audience) in the development of your app in the early stages instead of assuming you’re solving a problem that you’re likely to find out they don’t have or developing a product that they’re not interested in.
And further, as part of your product development and your marketing efforts, consider blogger outreach—and think beyond the blog. Make it your mission to learn more about what your target demographic wants so you can easily and efficiently serve them. This is true whether your audience is comprised of moms or some other audience—and a step all too often overlooked by app developers.
Did any of Flurry Analytics’ findings strike you as particularly interesting, or contradict some of your own findings about the mom market and/or your own usage habits? I’d love for you to weigh in.