How to Market to Mobile – The Challenge

Over the last 25 odd years I have observed hundreds of mobile initiatives that engage consumers, many of them successful and many have ended up in the trash.

 There is an obsession with building mobile applications, even to the extent that we fail to realize the consumer road bumps experienced in engaging with a mobile application.  Lets have a quick summary:


·         You have to build it in both IOS and Android

·         You have to get approval from both IOS and Android

·         You have to promote the application

·         You have to get the consumer to download

·         You have to successfully combine the aggregate data generated from both platforms

·         You have to educate the consumer on how to use

·         You have to maintain the sites cognizant of the continuing changes to both rules and regulations imposed by IOS and Android, as well as the commercial elements.

 You exhausted already – I Am! Yet marketers keep building them and wonder why there is such little traction. But I got the following stats from a great blog by Adobe, and worth repeating, so as I am being fair. With great thanks Adobe.


1.       Users spend 90% of their time in apps compared to the mobile Web. —Flurry, 2015 (I think this is rubbish)

2.       Users download on average 8.8 apps per month, with app installs up 5% year over year (YoY). —BI Intelligence, 2015

3.       In May 2016, the average cost per app installation is $2.33 on Android (+93% YoY) and $1.46 on iOS (–3% YoY). —Fiksu, 2015

4.       25% of installed apps are never used. —Google, 2015

5.       26% of installed apps are abandoned after the first use. —Google, 2015

6.       (Only) 51% of companies measure user engagement and return on investment (ROI). —Adobe and Econsultancy, 2015

7.       Mobile retail experience satisfaction is low: 45% of mobile app users dislike their app experience, whereas 47% dislike their Web experience. —Mobile Commerce Daily, 2015

8.       The average Android app loses 77% of its daily active users (DAUs) within the first three days after the install, and 90% within the first 30 days. —Quettra

9.       Of those who stop using apps, 30% would use an app again if offered a discount, and 24% would reuse an app if offered exclusive or bonus content. —Google, 2015

10.   78% of companies use paid media to drive app downloads. —Adobe Mobile Maturity Survey, 2015


Clearly there are opportunities for “The Big App” where there is adequate funding for build, testing, promotion, education and of course management.  God forbid we allocate enough to include the dreaded social media integration.  That is a minefield all in itself.

 After 25 years in mobile engagement all I can say that I still use SMS, the only ubiquitous mobile application, prefer mobile websites, use very few mobile applications if any, and less and less make old fashion telephone calls.

 I would like to challenge my LinkedIn community to debunk my theory as frankly we are all obsessed with mobile, but we rarely stop and think. They say your customers are on mobile, and I cannot disagree but what are they really doing?

Let me know your thoughts. David