Drilling down, Branch found users spend most of their time within just a handful of popular apps. The reality is, while marketers can use Web content to power and drive Website discovery in both organic and paid channels, apps are walled gardens that are hard for consumers to discover.
What does this mean for marketers? They have two choices: They can continue to spend more to acquire users through traditional app-install ads. Or they can turn to alternative means of user acquisition through other campaigns, such as sending emails to users with promotions to download the app, deep-linked social content, referrals, and targeted, personalized Web-to-app banners. I say "targeted" and "personalized" because Branch data revealed the level of personalization of a dynamic banner has a huge effect on the view-to-click ratio—almost five times the conversion rate of a static app banner.
Trend 2: Fragmentation Will Continue
When the Internet started to grow in popularity and websites became the main way to get to places and do things, a standard emerged: the HTTP protocol. This worked because the Web was a democratic platform, not owned by any one tech giant.
Mobile emerged differently. It started and continues to grow on separate platforms, like iOS and Android, and it’s “owned” by a handful of tech giants all fighting for more users and creating moats and standards that only work on their own platform. This has resulted in an incredibly fragmented ecosystem. Each mobile platform also has its own way of organizing and building apps—and the way to access content on one platform can be vastly different on another platform.
On top of these closed ecosystems, other players are trying to create their own closed ecosystems within “super” apps (such as Facebook, Snapchat, WeChat, Rappi, and GoJek). In addition, every super app is now trying to create its own app store. For example, WeChat has already reached 1 million mini programs (the apps built on top of WeChat), Amazon is launching an app store for Alexa, Google is launching one for Android TV, and the list goes on.
What does all of this mean for brands? In addition to having a website and app, the reality is if they want to reach the largest number of consumers, they also will need to have a presence on Android, iOS, social platforms, local super apps, and other emerging mobile platforms.