Common Sense – Is There an App for That?

I’m at the ad:tech show in London, where I’ve just sat in on a great presentation by Edward Kershaw, VP, Mobile at Nielsen Online. The title of the presentation, ‘Making Sense of the Mobile Internet’, didn’t really do it justice. For while he talked about the mobile web, far more interesting was his debunking of three big mobile myths.
The first of these is that mobile is all about the iPhone.
“Every time you open the newspaper, they are talking about the iPhone; every journalist, designer and creative has an iPhone,” said Kershaw, before explaining to the audience that the handset represents just 2% of the mobile market. “Maybe the noisiest 2%, and the one that gets all the attention, but remember, just 2%.”
He went on to say that if your target audience is affluent, well educated, male and tech-savvy, then an iPhone could be what you need, but concluded by cautioning:
“Agencies and developers love the iPhone, and it’s the lens through which they see the mobile world.”
When I mentioned this to Mick Rigby, Managing Partner at Yodel Digital, a little later, it was music to his ears, as he told me that the company now has blue-chip brands asking for strategic advice as to what they should be doing on mobile, having been advised by other people to create an app, which has subsequently seen precious few downloads.
Kershaw’s second myth was that mobile is just for young people, which he debunked by showing Nielsen stats on mobile Internet usage that show that the highest use comes among 35-54 year olds, followed by 25-34 year olds.
The third myth, picking up on the first, was that you have to have an app. Here, Kershaw cited the example of Noel Edmonds’s Cosmic Ordering iPhone app, which we covered here yesterday, remarking wryly that asking money for an app that is supposed to help you get what you want for free seemed somehow wrong.
I have no idea of the make up of the audience for Kershaw’s presentation, but I hope it was 100% brand marketers, because this is just the kind of common sense they need to hear about mobile, with not an iPhone in sight.