With the PC officially in decline, mobile is clearly now the platform of choice for most digital services, including commerce, music, entertainment, banking, and communication. But advertisers and marketers have failed to keep up with consumers and continue to spend heavily in traditional media such as television and PC web media such as search or display.

Gregory Kennedy, Vice President of Marketing at TapSense, shares with us in this guest post why digital marketers should move half of their budget towards mobile advertising right now.

The mobile market opportunity is immense

Earlier this year, Apple revealed that over 500 million iOS devices have been sold to date.  With 80% of the overall devices sold in the U.S., this represents a massive opportunity for mobile marketers in this space. To put that into perspective, only 40 million copies of Netscape, the dominant web browser in the 1990's, were in use when the company went public in 1995. These days however, it's clear that consumers want a more personalized, easily accessible and convenient way to access the internet. The mobile revolution is real and it's big.

Not only do iOS devices deliver massive market opportunity, they also represent the premium audience that marketers want to reach. iOS users are affluent households with plenty of disposable income. In fact, recent data by Forrester Research revealed that the average household income of an iPhone user is $105,200 per year, while the average household income of an Android user is $89,300 per year. That's a delta of nearly $16,000 per year, which is a significant amount. 

In addition, iOS users enjoy a significantly better in-app experience. The touch screen experience is far superior to the PC web's point and click functionality. This ease of use, combined with the personal nature of carrying a device in your pocket, is a winning combination. Consumers love the ease and convenience of mobile for all of their everyday needs.

If you're not yet convinced, below are some additional iPhone user demographics, also released by Forrester:

  • 500 million devices sold and 80% of them in the U.S.
  • 56% of users are ages 23 to 45
  • Gender of users is evenly split male / female
  • Average annual household income is $105,200
  • Users are clustered in affluent metros: SF, LA, NY, Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, among others

Apps are what consumers want

With billions and billions of apps sold to date, the mobile app has taken the world by storm. Why? The mobile app experience is fun, easy, personal and well-integrated into our daily lives. The simplicity of the app experience has far exceeded the PC web and ultimately delivers the experience that people always craved from the Internet. For marketers, the app experience has some clear advantages over the PC web, such as:

  • For retail apps, impulse buying can be conducted through the clever use of push notifications. Many apps have a happy hour, or parties that take place at specific times. The ability to deliver push notifications is the key enabler that drives users to the app at that specific time of day so they can participate.
  • Apps take full advantage of touch-screen interface features such as multi-touch and pinch-to-zoom or scale, which is almost impossible to do in mobile web. It's also easier to browse, add to cart, and buy because icons are immediately accessible from the phone's home screen.
  • Apps are available offline and don't require a constant Wi-Fi connection to function. They also enable users to pause and return to exactly where they left off during an app experience. On the other hand, the mobile web browser makes it difficult to return to an activity after you've closed the window.

Mobile measurement for marketing is highly accurate

Conversion tracking in mobile app marketing is highly accurate and with the now universally accepted IFA or Identifier for Advertisers that Apple has provided, there is a simple and legal way to track all mobile app advertising. This method is far superior to the PC equivalent known as cookies. On the PC, cookies are notoriously inaccurate and difficult to manage.

Users can block or delete them and cookies can simply get corrupted. The IFA is a much more accurate model, because it's persistent across different user sessions with the same app over time. This allows marketers to accurately track more deeply into their marketing funnel.

How to get started

Picking a mobile marketing platform is an important decision. Unlike the PC web where JavaScript tags can be changed out easily, integration with a mobile marketing platform is engineering intensive and requires direct integration into the app.

Given the acute fragmentation in mobile, expect to work with multiple partners who have domain expertise to get all of the elements you need. Examine their offering closely and get your technical team involved early so they can flag any integration issues ahead of time that may arise.

The author of this post, Gregory Kennedy, is Vice President, Marketing at TapSense. Prior to TapSense, Gregory was the Director of Global Marketing for InMobi, the largest independent mobile ad network. Born in New York City, Gregory started his career with Silicon Alley firm Oven Digital, where he pioneered the use of Flash rich media and was the recipient of two Gold Pencils.

Heather Taylor

Published 18 April, 2013 by Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor is the Editorial Director for Econsultancy US. You can follow her on Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

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Comments (10)

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This piece is highly inaccurate and obviously self serving piece.

PC use still accounts for 80% of how people access the web. Mobiles and tablets may be growing, but they are not yet the dominant means of access.


Why would any intelligent marketer ignore 80% of the market audience?

Plus, as anyone who's studied the adoption of technology mediums will tell you, new mediums don't usually replace old ones, they supplement them.

Most of us know we are know the consumer lives in a multi screen environment, so it's never a case of abandoning one in favour of another, you have to keep doing all of them.

As the author of this piece sells mobile tracking services, his view can hardly be considered objective and unbiased.

Yes we need to target mobile and tablet users, but not at the expense of largest proportion of users.

about 5 years ago


Giuseppe Sessa, Team Lead - Principal Consultant at Adobe

Fully agree with Mark. Also drop down in sales does not equal drop down in usage. As Mark said, new devices supplement traditional ones. I don't see why people should shift 50% of their marketing spend on mobile.

about 5 years ago



The comments above are great and the piece is quite self serving with little real connection to mobile consumer spend and behaviour. Mobile strategies work great within context, from DR to location based activities. Many businesses are developing a mobile first approach, not specifically at the expensive of online, but maybe more traditional print media or outdoor. There are excellent mobile ROI opportunities out there, but articles like this don't help the mobile cause!

Mobile is behind in some areas (ecommerce), but gaining on PC quickly in many others, and each medium should be leveraged for their strengths. Check out our topline on mobile CRM for starters.

Yodel Mobile Blog: http://yodelmobile.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/mobile-as-part-of-your-crm-strategy.html

and some interesting stats on mobile and social:


about 5 years ago

Chris Delahunty

Chris Delahunty, Director at MMK Media

"The simplicity of the app experience has far exceeded the PC web"

This was my favourite line. To be fair, there were quite a few that made me laugh and facepalm, but that one stood out.

This is possibly the most misguided, self-serving, inaccurate article I have read in a long time. And I sometimes read Business Insider.

about 5 years ago


Michelle Boland, Global Marketing Services Director at Cambridge University Press

Generally I cant stand apps, much prefer the proper site experience assuming its responsive and I can access it on my ipad.

Mobile is fine at a push, but where as I will spend hours browsing on my 'pad, mobile is more "if I have to" its my third choice of medium - more, get in, get out, and the user experience is generally much diminished.

Mobile has its place, but I echo the above comments. its not either or, its both.

about 5 years ago

Andrew McGarry

Andrew McGarry, Managing Director at McGarry Fashion

The number of people blindly tweeting this article is what has prompted me to post.

Considering the wealth of useful information this site has on offer, articles like this one need editorial revision.

Digital marketers are no doubt seeing the increasing traffic shift from desktop to mobile devices but the issue is not just about traffic, it's about users with informational vs transactional intent.

Despite mobile traffic numbers increasing rapidly, conversion rates are not following the same trend yet.

Mobile devices are brilliant for research. The sale is still less likely to take place on mobile, subject to certain criteria.

Brand power, trust and confidence, UX, and numerous other factors come into play and many mobile retail experiences are still poor online shopping experiences.

There's still a lot of things that companies have to fix if they're going to get mobile shoppers to move from a research to a transactional mindset.

about 5 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

While Gregory is clearly enthusiastic about the potential of mobile, as some of the previous commenters point out, moving half of marketing budget to mobile is something of a leap.

In addition, I would question the wisdom of concentrating on apps over mobile sites, as this is a debate which is far from decided. In fact, many would argue that mobile sites represent the future, and therefore a better bet for many companies.

Yes, there are some excellent apps out there, but to argue that the customer experience is better on apps is a stretch. For example, the growth of mobile commerce is limited by the user experience in the checkout process. This is one experience which is almost always better on a PC than an app.

Perhaps there are some firms that would benefit from shifting that much budget onto mobile, and there is no doubting mobile's importance, but most firms would be wise to look at the ROI they can expect from different channels before making such a leap.

about 5 years ago


David C

Thank goodness for sound people in econsultanting community. I'm getting a bit fed up with hearing about point solution mindsets. I was with one of the smartest .com CIO's I know last week who runs one of the best IT functions I've ever seen, and we were debating the whole "digital strategy" stuff (that's a whole other topic!) and during our discussion he made an obvious but really smart statement.

Along the lines of "everything is about the customer experience - everything from device, to data, to design....everything".

Mobile is a part of a picture of interaction which has to be part of the blended solution. Oh and he finished with a brilliant piece about how creating smart apps means using more senior and experienced developers because it takes really smart architecting and development to make them perform.

about 5 years ago



I agree with the other critics, that this is a terribly misguided and self-serving article. First of all, from what I read Q4 2012 was the largest e-commerce quarter in history for both mobile and PC sales. It might be unrealistic to expect continued growth AGAINST seasonality (i.e.- the December holidays). Second, as others have pointed out, a 14% drop does not necessarily justify a 50% shift n resources. This is a drastic over-reaction. Third, study after study has shown that people download many different aps to their phones, but only consistently use a handful, while most collect dust a month after downloading. Finally, and again, this had been mentioned before, it is not about the number of users, but ROI. This is actually the key to this whole discussion. Things like email marketing, SEO, and especially PPC have proven, measurable and often even predictable ROI. Can the same be said for mobile aps? Maybe, but not consistently. Apps are pretty difficult to monetize, at least relative to PPC and email marketing. This transcends the issue of tracking, which the author covered, but deals with the actual money made on apps, or lack there of for far too many firms.

about 5 years ago


Rob M

I started to write a particularly ranty response to this article at the end of last week. However, I soon realised that the sheer scale of garbage that is contained here couldn't be done justice in the time that I had to write the comment, so gave up.

Glad others are in agreement. Stricter editing please!

about 5 years ago

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