Editor’s note: Matthew Davis co-founder of RIoT, the North Carolina-based grass roots Internet of Things organization, and is vice president of marketing at Reveal Mobile, which focuses on wireless beacon technology.

RALEIGH – MediaPost’s Gavin O’Malley published this commentary: “In some respects, the mobile boom is officially over in the States. Indeed, Adobe’s latest global mobile report found double-digit declines in both app installs (38%) and launches (28%) over the past two years.”

While this report goes on to say that mobile usage is still exploding, Gavin’s observation reflects that the long tail of apps is getting shorter. People download fewer apps, sticking with what they know.

This is not good news for the mobile app ecosystem. How can companies counteract declining mobile app installs, or can they?

If a company needs revenue from their mobile apps, and therefore more people using them, they’ll need to be laser focused on increasing the efficiency of the customer acquisition process, while maintaining and engaging their existing user base.

Gavin sums it up: “As such, the new mission for marketers is maximizing engagement, and finding others ways to get more out of existing customers.”

If marketers are to accomplish that task, they need to start with the best understanding of who their audience is. Certainly measuring product usage and which content drives the most interest plays a critical role. There’s also an untapped opportunity to also use mobile location data to not only understand the audience, but to also reach them in unexpected and creative ways.

By finding the locations that are relevant to a specific app audience, marketers can target those users for acquisition.

  • Need more people to download the Hilton Honors app? Why not target people who visit Hilton?
  • Need more downloads of the Autotraders app? Target people recently seen on dealer lots.
  • How about finding more users for a youthful ecommerce app? Reach the people seen shopping at similar retail stores.

The key takeaway is that the mobile app economy is showing signs off maturity. As competition for an app audience becomes even hotter, audience understanding, on any level, plays a key role in finding new and retaining existing users.

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