Targeting the right audience is the first, key step in mobile application development, according to IDC, which has identified six distinct consumer segments to help guide mobile app developers: Tech Evangelists, Impulse Buyers, Experimental Adopters, Pragmatic Purchasers, Green Buyers and Disengaged Functionalists. Among them, Tech Evangelists stands out as being particularly influential.

Besides being “deeply involved in app usage,” Tech Evangelists are also the most educated consumers of mobile apps and high-tech in general, a group that others seek out for advice, IDC points out. Their spending on mobile apps is also expected to increase, by at least 10% year-over-year in 2012.

“Tech evangelists not only own the most devices and utilize the most advanced functions, features, and apps, they are also the group that drives adoption of device ownership and usage by other market segments,” commented Michael DeHart, director of IDC’s Global ConsumerScape 360° program.

A strategy focused on developing and marketing mobile apps for Tech Evangelists should reward developers with the highest ROI (return on investment), according to the study, which was done for IDC’s ConsumerScape 360° research program.

Other insights in the study, entitled, “ConsumerScape 360: Consumer Market Segments and the Global Mobile App Market,” include:

  • Free apps comprise 85% of the total app market.
  • The most popular free apps are gaming, music, social networking, weather, news, entertainment and navigation.
  • In the paid apps market, the most popular categories are music, games, navigation, entertainment, and books — a category that does not perform well in the free app space.
  • App usage varies by country as well as by market segment. Generally speaking, categories of apps preferred are relatively stable across market segments, but the rates of download and usage vary dramatically.
  • South Korean consumers, are most likely of all smartphone users worldwide to download both free and paid apps. Swedish and American consumers are also highly app-engaged smartphone users. (See related figure at


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One thought on “Six Key Target Audiences for Mobile App Developers

  1. This is hilarious. I got here from linkedin mobile and this is a web page hardly optimized for mobiles and talking about mobiles.

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