Kids’ Boredom Remedied: What Passes Your App Test?
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Kids’ Boredom Remedied: What Passes Your App Test?

I spent some quality time with my computer last night. I was on a mission to make space on my smart phone (which I should probably refer to as my “smart mobile device” as I rarely use it for voice-to-voice conversation anymore) for more music, and to do so, I had to make some trade-offs to free up space. In other words, I had to delete several apps. I eliminated about 20 apps from my phone, to be exact. And as I was making those critical “should it stay or should it go” decisions, I realized that the keepers were apps that were social media or news apps that I use almost daily (like Facebook, Weather Channel, Twitter, USA Today… and I’ll admit it, TMZ) or they were apps my pre-schoolers love.

In fact, this was an exercise in which I realized my pre-schoolers use the apps on my phone almost more than I do… we have the Sprout app, the apps for various PBS Kids shows, Eric Carle’s “My First App,” which features really lovely matching games, and of course bowling, tennis, jumping,  and the classic “Bubbles” among others. They all made the cut.

In my line of work as a marketer to moms, I find myself talking about apps more and more often. So many brands interested in moms think they are supposed to have an app. Like everyone realized 20 or so years ago that they were supposed to have a website. And this yearning to jump right into branded apps is especially rampant among mom marketers.

Of course the demand appears to be there from their perspective. Moms and mobile go together. A mom’s mobile is her first touchpoint in the morning and her last before bed. Did you know that (according to a 2011 study by we moms are more mobile than the general population by 9 percent? And, 57 percent of us have 10 or more apps on our smart phones. While a lot of marketers want to build an app and get moms to download it (the first step), I have to wonder what makes an app so valuable that moms will engage with it almost daily (the second, and more critical step) – that it would pass the deletion test… that it would be more valuable to mom than her kids’ apps are.

What would pass your app test? What makes you app happy?

For me? It’s the app that makes being stuck somewhere waiting – in the car, at a restaurant, little brother waiting for big brother’s game to end… you know the drill – a little easier. When the kids get antsy, the new remedy is the “pass back.” I pass my phone, er, “mobile device,” their way so they can intuitively find the app they’d like to preoccupy themselves with. Then, voila! Boredom remedied. Everyone happier.

Moms download three times as many apps as we use. So when it comes time to free up space, which of those apps will make your cut?

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