Mobile Device Adoption and App Use, Global Indicators for Marketers - Part 2
Ryan Buddenhagen, March 23, 2012
In yesterday's post, I introduced some research from Flurry that looks at mobile devices and their rise across the world. Specifically, I addressed the meteoric rise in mobile device activation in China and how Chinese activations have now surpassed the number experienced in the US, making them the fastest growing mobile device market in the world. This is very important for SEO companies and marketers currently operating in or contemplating operating in China as they can leverage mobile to further their exposure and achieve their goals. Today, let's turn our attention to Flurry's numbers regarding app use across the globe and see how marketers can maximize them.
China & US Lead in App Sessions
The number of app sessions experienced in a country is also another noteworthy indicator of where SEO companies and marketers can concentrate their time and effort. An app session is the launch of an application and its subsequent use. A user who opens a local search app, for example, and spends a few minutes searching local restaurants is considered an app session. According to Flurry's numbers, China ranked #10 globally in the number of application sessions at the beginning of last year, but found itself second behind the US by year's end. Flurry looks at China's enormous population and burgeoning middle class as reasons for this rapid acceleration. Additionally, calculating the number in China who can theoretically afford smartphones against the current installed base (number of units actually in use), Flurry positions China has the country with the most market upside. So if marketers are looking at one place where they can get the most return on investment in terms of reaching the greatest number of consumers.
A Look at the Rest
What follows is further analysis of app session growth by country from Q1 2011 to Q4 2012 for the ten fastest growing markets with the percentages representing the rate of growth for each market:
- 1126% - China, 599% - Argentina, 546% - Philippines, 514% - Russia, 467% - Belgium, 463% - India, 403% - Israel, 399% - Saudi Arabia, 389% - Thailand, 384% - Turkey
In looking at these rates, very diverse markets and culture s are represented: 3 countries in the Middle-East, 2 in Asia, 1 in Central Asia, 1 in the Asia Pacific, 1 in South America, and 2 in greater Europe, with at least 11 different languages represented, not including local dialects and secondary languages. There is great potential to capitalize on the use of apps, but companies want to be mindful of all that it takes to cater to the local culture and language.
Distribution of App Sessions Globally
Another metric of note is the distribution of app sessions. In Q1 of 2011, the US had 56% of the total global app sessions, while in Q1 of 2012 that number has fallen to 46%. Conversely the same number for the rest of the top ten (China, UK, South Korea, France, Australia, Canada, Japan, Germany, and Spain) has increased from 27% to 30%. The rest of the world then makes up the rest of sessions, with this segment growing from 17% to 24%. What does this mean? Well, Flurry also provides the insight that the number of US sessions doubled since Q1 2011. So, even though the absolute number of US sessions has had strong growth, its share of total sessions went down. This means that the US market is growing, but just not as fast as the rest of the world.
The main take-away for marketers is that there is increasing opportunity for expanding your efforts onto the mobile platform and utilizing apps to engage customers and connect them to your product or service - in the US and abroad. Marketers can specifically:
- Ensure they have a presence on existing apps that browse businesses, their offerings, or location with a search functionality.
- Develop apps that make it easier for their mobile target customers to engage in the experience that can be had on the main website or extends the experience offering a new dynamic way to engage with the company, it's product, service, or other customers.
In relation to international markets, if you are already in a foreign market that is experiencing great growth in app use, or are looking to get into one of these markets, there may indeed be more opportunity for greater return on investment, sooner. This should provide a moment of pause for marketers and SEO companies assisting businesses looking for ways to expand their (mobile) online presence both in the US and new outside markets.