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3 Key Takeaways From eMarketer’s 2015 App Marketing Report

Written by: Carolyn Berk, Content Marketing Associate

The demand for apps is booming, and with that growth comes a rapidly evolving market. eMarketer’s latest report, “App Marketing 2015: Fighting for Downloads and Attention in a Crowded Market,” highlights these changes while exploring ways that app developers can stand out. As today’s 199.5 million smartphone and tablet app users become 223.9 million by 2018, marketers should be prepared. Read on for a summary of key findings and takeaways to help your app get noticed, downloaded and used.

Specific tasks influence app downloads

What influences consumers to download and use apps? eMarketer highlights several primary factors that motivate users. It says the main reason people download apps is so they can address specific needs or immediately handle particular tasks. However, other major influences like word-of-mouth and paid ads can drive them to download.

Download Influence - emarketer app report

Takeaway: Advertising may be factor #3 on the list, but the other top two factors can be incorporated to make ads more effective. Because many users are motivated to download apps for specific tasks, you can leverage that demand via interest targeting. For example, Facebook users who are into running would be a natural fit for a pedometer app. You can also optimize word-of-mouth influence by offering specific referral codes that give users a discount or privilege in your app just by recommending it to their friends.

Users spending much more time in apps vs. mobile web

As you can see from the chart below, mobile consumers have historically spent more time in-app than the mobile web, but the gap has grown much wider over the past couple years.

Average Time Spent per Day on Mobile Internet Among US Smartphone and Tablet Users, In-App vs. Mobile Web, 2011-2015


Takeaway: Even if you’re not a mobile gaming company, you may still be able to capitalize on the app movement. Since apps are more popular than the mobile web, it’s worth considering whether your business model would translate to an app. For example, an ecommerce company can develop its own app so that current customers can purchase products through a more streamlined, personalized shopping experience.

Paid app install campaigns are a missed opportunity

Paid app install campaigns are becoming an increasingly important way for app marketers to find new users, and eMarketer reports that total investment in these campaigns is expected to reach $3.00 billion this year. Yet despite this high number, eMarketer says app install ad spending is “Still relatively small, making up 10.4% of all mobile ad spending in 2015.”

 MAI spending - emarketer app report

Takeaway: If you haven’t already considered using app installation campaigns, now is the time to explore that option. Because these types of ads only make up a small amount of total mobile ad spending, the competition is minimal and the opportunities are tremendous. Run direct response ads so that users can take immediate action by downloading your app with convenient “Install Now” CTA buttons right in your ad.

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