LIVE FROM APPS WORLD EUROPE 2014, LONDON: Mobile marketing executives touted the financial benefits of developing apps for Android, suggesting that iOS isn’t the only platform worth focusing on.

Spencer Scott, chief revenue officer for mobile marketing company Fiksu, said Android is being left behind in terms of developer interest due to the lower overall revenue being generated when compared to iOS.

But he said that more focus should be put on the Google OS as acquiring loyal users is both cheaper and more efficient than for iOS. While Android users may monetise at a lower level, the lower acquisition costs mean there is money to be had.

Android isn’t without its challenges though.

Nancy Hua, CEO of mobile A/B testing provider Apptimize, said that with more than 12,000 Android devices running multiple versions of the platform, app publishers need to safeguard against the long tail of devices.

If they just focus on the biggest selling devices and the latest versions of Android they risk providing a poorer experience for users of older devices and OS versions. “This has a big impact on your app store reputation,” Hua warned.

User engagement focus
The panellists also noted a shift away from downloads and towards engagement as a measure of an app’s success.

‘The reality is the market is much tougher than a year ago for downloads,” said Franco Beschizza, who until recently was the mobile lead for energy company Centrica.

With the costs of acquiring loyal users rising, Sharon Magen, chief revenue officer at marketing firm Appoxee, said app publishers must become more sophisticated in order to gain users.

“There’s quite a lot of money on the table if you get the marketing right,” he noted

“A unified strategy is great, but different approaches are badly needed,” added Cristina Constandache, chief revenue officer at mobile marketing provider MobPartner.

Nancy Hua stressed the importance of the on-boarding process, which introduces people to an app the first time they use it, for gaining loyal users.

“Every single detail of the on-boarding process has to be tested. We see by far the most gains in on-boarding,” she said.