What if you could determine your consumers age and income based solely on the apps downloaded on their smartphones? According to a recent study conducted by Verto Analytics and the Qatar Computing Research Institute, not only can marketers determine age and income demographics, but marital status and gender as well, with 61-82 percent accuracy.
In conjunction with this research, The Washington Post developed a survey to determine how these predictive models work on each individual consumer. While the results are not 100-percent accurate, they certainly illustrate just how much we inadvertently allow advertisers and app-makers to know about us. How did you do?
Generally speaking, if you have Pinterest on your phone, you’re definitely a woman and if you have Uber, you’re probably single. Similarly, single adults get their music from Sound Cloud, while older adults prefer iHeartRadio. Likewise, people who earn more than $52,000 a year trust Yelp and those who make less than that resort to Foursquare.
As you can imagine, based on the traits studied, gender was the easiest to determine, while income remained the most difficult. However, when alternative forms of personal data are added to the equation- such as location, contacts and phone usage, it becomes easier to see how targeted ads can feel so “creepily” accurate. No wonder Facebook knows you better than your own friends and family.
“Studying the predictability of demographics … points out privacy implications of users allowing apps to access their list of installed apps. Many users undoubtedly do not carefully review the permissions that the apps they install require, and even less, understand the scope of the information that can be inferred from the data accessible by the apps.”
How will mobile apps impact your businesses digital connection with consumers?