More people are using their mobile phones to access content, and the most common way they find online websites is through search and shared links. Marketers still have a lot to learn, however, as the use of apps have long overshadowed the importance of the mobile internet. Time was once put into the development and maintenance of mobile apps (which hasn’t lost its importance), but now marketers must also balance their time with mobile browsing.

Mobile Apps vs Mobile Browsing

A recent study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) took a closer look at how mobile users are searching for and accessing content on their mobile devices. According to the study, Internet use on mobile devices can be divided into two groups: mobile apps and mobile browsing. In the study, mobile users agreed that mobile search was the best way to search for content and websites, while apps and the mobile web are sufficient for news, shopping and directories.

So what does this study tell marketers? In a nutshell, it’s a good reminder that they need to consider both apps and the mobile internet in their marketing strategies. While many kinds of content can be found on apps or the web, some content is only available through one or the other. Additionally, users do have preferences when it comes to what platform they use to access certain content. Since most use a combination of the mobile web and mobile apps, it’s important for brands to be on both channels.

Convenience and Efficiency Matter Most

Perhaps what’s most interesting about the study from IAB is that users are logical and efficient when using their mobile devices to access information. They opt for convenience and ease to accomplish their task at hand, whether it’s researching a particular product, visiting a website or reading their favorite news stories. If the convenient path leads to an app, so be it. If it leads to a mobile website, that’s fine too. This proves that users aren’t necessarily one-sided when it comes to choosing apps or the web, but instead that users will always choose the easiest, most direct route.