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The Minimalist Guide to Apple vs. Android in Mobile Marketing

Man using smartphoneFortune Magazine reported earlier today that Google brought in 51% of the mobile app downloads while Apple got 74% of all the app revenue. Wow, right?

But here’s the thing: Who cares?!?

Seriously.

You don’t need to worry too much about who’s “winning” in the mobile space. Treat it the same way you treat which actors wins the Oscars; sure it’s nice to know, but unless you’re their agent or hair stylist, it’s just entertainment.

Here’s what you do need to worry about:

  1. How much of your traffic comes from mobile? Go to Google Analytics right now. Seriously. I’ll wait. Set your date to last quarter, click the “Compare to:” checkbox, and select “Prior year” from the drop-down. Then click on Audience, then Mobile, then Overview. Finally click the little “pie chart” graphic (circled in red in the image below). Note the percentage of traffic on your sites coming from mobile devices as well as how much it’s changed over the last year.

    Mobile traffic percentage

    (Click to embiggen)

    Impressive, no? I’m seeing growth of between 5% and 20% per month and 50% to 150% per year on the sites I monitor regularly. If you’re not, you might want to consider whether you’re mobile enough and make some changes to your site that help mobile users access the content and information they need.

  2. Which devices do your customers use? Good. You know how much of your traffic is mobile. Now, while still in Google Analytics, click the Devices link in the report navigation (it’s right below the Mobile > Overview report you just viewed). That will tell you which devices your customers use most frequently. It doesn’t matter whether Google or Apple report the most downloads if your customers primarily use the other device (or alternatives like Blackberry/Windows Mobile/whatever the next flavor of the month is).

That’s it. That’s all you need to worry about.

The key takeaway is that mobile continues to grow like a… like a… oh, I don’t know, like a thing that grows really, really fast. (Sorry. It’s Monday; I’ll come up with more zippy metaphors as the week goes on). As I mentioned last week, the growth of Gen Y is only going to fuel mobile’s meteoric rise and we’ve long since passed the mobile tipping point. It’s time for you to listen to your customers and help them achieve their goals whether on Android, Apple, or anything in-between.

Interested in more? Sign up for our free newsletter and get more information on how to build your social, local, mobile marketing strategy. And, if you’ve got a minute, you might enjoy some past coverage of mobile, including:

Tim Peter

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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