Apple and the iOS market blind spot

Marketing and advertising have long been important ingredients in the success of commercial products. What has accelerated those industries forward over the decades has been the ever-increasing ability to close the analytics loop from advertising to sales.

For example, through direct mail coupons, which can be traced back to specific campaigns, advertising professionals have been able to conclusively demonstrate the effectiveness of long copy, have identified particular words that are effective in headlines, understand the importance of captions, and can determine cost per sale to the penny. Online, tools like Google analytics, in combination with techniques such as A/B testing, have taken us even further.

The iOS market, however, currently suffers a critical shortcoming in this area.

Apple do not provide any mechanism to close the loop between a source (referral from a website, or advertisement) and, ultimately, a sale. Without it, Apple are denying product makers with precisely the mechanism that propelled advertising from an industry of guesswork to one that, today, has nearly become a science.

Furthermore, controlling a single marketplace, Apple have the potential to take advertising and sales analytics to a level never before possible. For example, in addition to providing positive- and neutral-feedback analytics, they could provide negative-feedback as well — i.e. they could provide product makers and advertisers with closed-loop data relating ones own ads to the direct purchase of a competitor’s product. Things could get very interesting!

So here’s to hoping Apple make this a priority.

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