The Impact of Mobile Browsing on the College Search Process

The Impact of Mobile Browsing on the College Search Process


In an age where teenagers are becoming increasingly more difficult to reach, universities and marketers need to go where the teens are in order to reach them.

With so many teenagers using mobile browsing during their college search process, universities and marketers have to branch out of traditional methods of reaching students such as billboards, television and print advertisements. These traditional methods can still create a base for building a campaign’s foundation, but these methods are primarily reaching parents, not necessarily the target audience of students.

Teens want to be reached where they already spend time.

Pew Research Center found that 78 percent of Americans aged 12 to 17 have a cell phone. About three out of four teens that have access to the Internet from their cell phones, tablet, or other mobile device report that they do use the Internet from these devices occasionally.

Reaching teens through mobile browsing has become an important access point to reaching this group and can be done in a number of ways including on a mobile website, a social media channel, streaming online radio and online video.

Here is how students are using mobile browsing during their college search:

• Mobile vs. Web Browsing: 43 percent of students reported using their mobile devices for all of their web browsing.
• Downloading College Applications: 73 percent have expressed interest in downloading campus-specific applications for schools on their top target lists.
• Use of Email: 47 percent of teens check email on a mobile device daily.
• Mobile & College Website: 68 percent of students have looked at a college website on a mobile device.
• Texting: 65 percent of students said they would be willing to receive a text message from a prospective college.

Along with mobile browsing, students are also utilizing other online resources.

Kent State University research showed that 70 percent of teens listen to streamed radio, 25 percent are mobile-only online users and 90 percent watch online video such as Hulu and YouTube. Ninety-one percent of teens take an action as a result of watching an online video.

As teens become increasingly more difficult to reach, remember to incorporate a mobile presence into a campaign targeting teens. These efforts will reach teens where they spend the majority of their time and help your brand connect to them in a way that’s relevant to them.


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