It is often surprising how trends in our digital behaviour can change in such little time. The newest, most cutting-edge technologies of today can seem outdated in just a year. 2020 was a defining year for many mobile app developers precisely because of the global health crisis whose impact changed virtually every aspect of how we work, how we play, and how we live. For some mobile apps, they saw immense growth due to the amount of time people have been forced to spend with their mobile devices. For others, many setbacks and challenges were experienced.

With such an unpredictable and often precarious market, the resilience of industries and verticals is often defined by the choices that each developer makes. Are they able to adapt swiftly and seamlessly to our fast-changing times or will they lag behind? More than simply adapting and staying afloat, will they be able to soar above the challenges of present times and be able to come up with informed strategies using data?

In order to address these questions and help ecosystem players come up with solutions based on hard data, global app marketing analytics platform Adjust recently released their latest Mobile App Growth report. It is a comprehensive study that charts growth and retention trends around the globe covering the tumultuous year of 2020.

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“Now more than ever, mobile marketers need a roadmap to identify just the right users, in just the right locales, at just the right points in their journey. Adjust’s data, coupled with Facebook’s insights into user preferences and actions, enables marketers to target and retain their highest-value users,” explained Andrey Kazakov, COO of Adjust.

Their first Mobile App Growth Report, launched in 2019, provided a breakdown of growth potential, aiming to help marketers extend their footprint and scale successfully. In their latest report — released in partnership with Facebook — they want to provide an anatomy of app growth, with an examination of global and vertical trends, and a data-based analysis of some of the assumed wisdom of growth marketing.

Being a leader in the mobile marketing world and championing growth through the power of data, Adjust’s slew of solutions include measurement, fraud prevention, cybersecurity, and automation tools. The company’s mission is to make mobile marketing simpler, smarter, and more secure for the more than 50,000 apps working with Adjust. Their annual report is only one of the many ways that the company intends to help mobile marketers out there who are looking to restrategise and sharpen their insights when it comes to mobile apps.

Highlights from the report

In the brand new report from Adjust, the macro-environment of the app economy has been laid bare, revealing key insights into the health of the industry and the enormous changes rippling through it over the course of 2020. Using data from Adjust’s platform, The Mobile App Growth Report uncovers which markets are growing fastest and identifies the key app verticals that are driving growth.

Despite 2020 being a tumultuous year, the Mobile App Growth Report reveals that many app verticals actually experienced growth, proving that mobile is incredibly shock-resistant as an industry. Those verticals that did experience an initial negative impact at the start of the pandemic such as food & drink or travel rebounded strongly over the summer months. Finally, huge growth in Southeast Asia and South America demonstrates that apps with the right expansion strategy can still prosper and rapidly grow.

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As well as taking a look at the overall health of the app economy, the Mobile App Growth Report provides a data-based analysis of growth marketing trends, zooming in on those verticals and regions that went through the most dynamic change to show app marketers where the highest growth potential can be found. The biggest insights include:

  • Gaming apps continue to win globally, topping the charts as the highest-ranking vertical by Growth Score. This is in no small part due to innovative business models like hypercasual, instantly playable games that are designed to engage with simplistic, satisfying mechanics.
  • India became the fastest growing app market in the world with 700 million unique mobile phone subscribers, comprising 451 million internet users. Entertainment & Business Apps were the fastest-growing verticals, while e-commerce lagged behind.
  • APAC is the big story for e-commerce in 2020, with Korea and Vietnam topping the charts as the two fastest-growing markets in mobile-first commerce. For Vietnam in particular, apps there have massive room to grow, building in untapped markets with eager consumers.
  • The trend to watch in Entertainment apps is the rise of subscriptions. According to research conducted by Adjust, using Apptopia data, some 79% of the top 225 apps in the Google Play Store and 49% of the top 225 apps in the App Store are subscription-based — despite making up less than 1% of apps overall.

Future-proof your strategies for mobile marketing

Looking forward to the rest of 2021, there is cause for cautious optimism, with investment bank Morgan Stanley predicting a 20% increase in online advertising in 2021. Indeed, the growth of mobile in 2020 hastened timelines for the transition to mobile-first for many brands. Meaning marketers will need to face new growth opportunities — as well as challenges — along the way.

“The mobile app is truly a global business. It’s easy to start because of the low barrier of entry, but also easy to fail if you do not understand the markets and users well,” shared Bryan Wang, Adjust’s Director of Marketing Science, Greater China Region & Gaming. He added, “The data and insight in this report can help app advertisers identify their new market entry strategies and enable the winning tactics effectively.”

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Through this report, Adjust hopes that mobile marketers and app developers will be able to strengthen their products and services while remaining agile to the unpredictability of the future.

For more details on the best tactics for growth in 2021 and more insights into the global app economy, download the Mobile App Growth Report from Adjust.

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This article is produced by the e27 team, sponsored by 

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