Home Articles Marketing lesson: iPhone is for women, Android is for men

Marketing lesson: iPhone is for women, Android is for men


With smartphone use surging across the world, an evolving sport is to identify which of the two broad phone platforms – iPhone and the Android – delivers the biggest marketing bang for your buck.

As you might suspect, this is a complicated numbers game that yields an answer, but only grudgingly, and still needs a KISS – Keep it Simple Silly – to get an intelligible answer.

Go with the straight and simple answer: It all comes down to the sexes.

Go with the iPhone if you want to target women, and Google’s Android phones if it is the men folk, says e-channel Search, an Internet search advertising company that conducted a study on user behaviour.

One reason why this occurs might be the user demographic: 43% of iPhone users are women compared with 27% for Android users.

“It is imperative you consider the demographics of your target market before undertaking any mobile paid search campaign so you’re not burning cash with irrelevant ads,” says Frank Grasso, CEO and founder of e-channel Search.

Pray, what did the study find?

e-channel ran two sets of tests on users of the two different phones.

In one, it delivered group buying deals offering discounts at grocery stores, restaurants and, health and beauty stores; in the other, it beamed information on the male-centric Australian Football League (AFL).

In group buying, iPhone users were a clear winner on multiple counts, probably because an estimated 77% of group buying customers are female.

Android users reported a click-through-rate – a key metric of how many users click on ads – of 1.73% while iPhone users recorded a 2.55% rate. iPhone users also recorded much higher ad impressions – the number of ads that were delivered to users – and their conversion rate was almost 20 times higher than that of the Android users.

In the second part of the study, Android’s predominantly male users made sure it won but not nearly as impressively as the iPhone users in the earlier test.

Android users reported a CTR of 8.79% compared with 6.39% for iPhone users. Still, iPhone pulled one back by recording ad impressions that were five times higher. What is also remarkable here is the overall higher CTRs, suggesting, counter-intuitively perhaps, that men might be bigger consumers of ads than women.

Telstra reckons 60% of Australians will be using smartphones by the year-end.

If International Data Corp.’s numbers hold, 40% of the smartphone users in Australia will use the iPhone; 30% will be on Androids; and the rest will use Nokia’s Symbian phones. Obviously, there is no telling what the real numbers might be. That is why Grasso says “constant monitoring of data is of utmost importance” to marketers.

In the final analysis, any mobile marketer will have to carefully assess the product, the smartphone platform and differences in user behaviour before coming up with a cost-effective and targeted campaign.