Digital Transformation Modern Marketing Mobile

Three considerations for brands targeting app users

Greenlight (now part of Brave Bison)


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December 10, 2014 | 6 min read

On the face of it, smartphones and tablets may seem like similar devices, but don’t be fooled. They are completely different beasts and the way consumers use them differs fundamentally in several ways.

While consumers may search the web, research purchases, and shop online using both devices, they exhibit different behaviour depending on where they are and what they want to do.

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This is particular apparent when looking at consumer use of mobile apps, which now form a central part of many brands’ marketing strategies. Beyond treating smartphones and tablets as separate devices, brands must face up to the task of responding to the unique behavioural traits of mobile consumers when developing apps or targeting consumers through them. With so many factors to consider, it can be tricky to work out what to pay attention to, however there are three things all brands must think about:

Ask yourself: Do you need an app?

Creating a winning app from a standing start and without considerable build and marketing budget is now statistically near impossible. Around 10 per cent of all revenue in Google’s Play store comes from just four apps, and 10 per cent of Apple’s App Store revenue comes from just seven apps. So, should you create an app?

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Your decision should reflect whether you are building something new, leveraging an existing brand or user base, and whether you need one at all. If your brand relies heavily on search engines as a channel then a mobile-optimised site must be your priority and an app may just be a waste of time and money. If however you have a captive audience or fan-base, then an app could be equally or more important than your website. It all comes down to who you are and the type of business you operate.

Where to set up shop: online or in app?

In many cases, mobile consumers prefer to make

purchases via a website rather than an app. Research by Google found that 65 per cent of US smartphone shoppers prefer to use the mobile web as opposed to mobile apps for shopping.

Similarly, a study by Nielsen found that retailers’ mobile sites are up to two times more popular over the Christmas shopping period than their apps.

However, apps remain popular among mobile shoppers. Those apps which feature a large inventory of products to buy, such as those from department stores, supermarkets or online, typically do well as they provide an easy way for consumers to make purchases quickly.

Brands that stock fewer products and see consumers return less frequently may find bagging a place on consumers’ phones more difficult. As such a mobile website may be the best approach.

How to promote your app?

According to a study by Appsavvy, in-app advertising performs over 11 times better than standard banner ads. It has also become incredibly easy to place advertising within third party apps utilising platforms such as Google’s AdMob, which focuses exclusively on in-app advertising.

There are several options for how to buy in-app mobile advertising: CPC (cost per click), CPM (cost per thousand impressions) or CPA (cost per action). You can pay each time a new customer downloads your own app, subscribes or buys from you.

Whether you want to achieve more traffic, more downloads, a higher ranking in the app store, more subscriptions or more purchases, there are now plenty of options to help you achieve your ambitions through in-app advertising.

If in doubt, tap up the experts

While you may think that other brands are miles ahead when it comes to understanding and targeting mobile consumers, the truth is that most businesses, even many of the world’s biggest brands, have yet to accomplish the basic requirements needed to embrace the mobile consumer. There are still countless unresponsive websites and completely unnecessary apps out there.

Even rarer are businesses that are embracing mobile display ads in creative, smart and ambitious ways.

As we enter 2015, we are now in a phase where advancement in mobile marketing driven by the likes of Google, Apple and Facebook is pulling away from marketers and advertisers. The inherent complexity and the necessary bandwidth requires a committed change of gear. In the New Year, brands will need to think mobilefirst and cater to the different tribes in their mobile and tablet habitats.

Andreas Pouros, COO, Greenlight

Tel: +44 (0)20 7253 7000



Twitter: @GreenlightMKTG

Digital Transformation Modern Marketing Mobile

Content by The Drum Network member:

Greenlight has lived and breathed digital since 2001, when we started as three people in an old North London print shop. Today, we’re a full-service digital and commerce agency made up of 170 people, with a reputation for producing integrated, transformational strategies across the entire digital space.

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