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With the frequency in which we encounter apps on a daily basis, it’s easy to overlook their potential in terms of performance marketing. Since the development of the app industry in 2008, which came alongside the birth of the first iPhone, apps have seemingly taken over the world. Currently, there are over two million apps in existence across all mobile platforms, with over 65 billion downloads and counting. With the use of mobile devices steadily increasing, the app industry is expected to be worth a staggering $56 billion in just two more years.

These astounding numbers have influenced a number of networks to begin developing affiliate programs for the app space, but so far this new strategy has failed to reach its full potential. Although many brands have their own mobile apps, few, if any, are using performance marketing strategies and affiliate programs within them.

Studies have shown that apps contribute to about 80% of online mobile viewing, proving that missing out on performance marketing opportunities means missing out on revenue. We already know that the mobile space is a virtual cash cow, showcasing ever-increasing numbers, and with tablets set to outsell laptops in 2013, that trend will only continue to grow.

Keeping that in mind, there are a few emerging app technologies that could prove to be very fruitful in the future of performance marketing. Location-based targeting, push notifications, and near field communication are amongst the most exciting prospects, and although push notifications have been around for quite some time, apps that enable near field communication and location-based targeting are tapping into an entirely new, specialized marketing tactic that has the potential to be massively successful.

On one hand, push notifications have proven to not only be a great way of engaging customers, but they also yield higher brand loyalty and response rates; up to three times higher than that of email and text messages. On the other hand, location-based targeting apps are enabling businesses to gain instantaneous connections to local customers by utilizing the GPS information sent from a users mobile device. With consumers in their neighborhood, businesses can offer specific services, offers, and discounts. Also, near field communication apps are quickly gaining popularity in the app space and could be a heavily used amenity for all mobile users in the very near future. These apps allow users to pay parking meters, unlock their car, or open their hotel room with just a push of a button on their mobile device.

Ultimately, these new app technologies could open up a whole new performance marketing frontier. Statistics continue to prove that the mobile space is becoming more viable by the day, and with that comes the significance of mobile apps. However, even though advertisers have been quick to jump on the mobile wagon overall, an affiliate marketing strategy for the app space has yet to be developed and implemented.

Of course, with all of this new information there are a handful of questions that follow. In what ways will app marketing differ from the traditional methods of performance marketing? And, how will it affect user experience inside those apps? Only time will tell, however, let us hear your thoughts in the comments.

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands is an online marketing industry veteran, and the founder of TheMail.

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Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands is an online marketing industry veteran, and the founder of TheMail.

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4 thoughts on “Is Mobile App Marketing The Next Big Thing?

  1. Hey Murray – great post. The mobile app environment provides a huge and growing opportunity for marketers. But it definitely poses challenges as well. One of the biggest ones I have encountered is performance tracking. As online marketers we have gotten used to using cookies to measure campaign performance and connect conversions back to ad impressions. But, since apps typically reside outside of a mobile browser environment, a cookie based approach to performance tracking doesn’t work as well and often not at all. The mobile industry is definitely working on ways to improve in-app tracking, but it remains a hurdle for a lot of marketers (especially performance marketers) to overcome.

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