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.