Costs to attain loyal app users have seen “relentless growth”, according to the data-fueled mobile marketing company Fiksu Inc.

The Fiksu Indexes, published this week, state that intensified competition and a rise in costs are now commonplace for app marketers, with the amount to acquire loyal users (CPLU) surpassing the $3 mark for the first time ever.

At $3.09, this represents a 10% increase in CPLU in the past month and a notable rise of 113% from last year.

The Boston-based outfit states that these findings are representative of a much bigger trend, reflecting the increasing power of mobile marketing to connect with app user, and the ever-rising costs happening as a result.

Inevitable rising tide

As technology develops and consumer expectations continue to rise, competition for the attention and loyalty of app users has become even more challenging for marketers. Securing an app download from an individual is no longer the end-game as obtaining a loyal user is far more vital to the overall success of a title.
According to a report from eMarketer, mobile ad spend will overtake traditional web advertising by 2016, with the majority – a 3:1 margin -of this advertising spend happening inside apps rather than the mobile web.

On iOS alone, CPI (the cost per app install directly attributed to advertising), increased to $1.53 in March, a 20% rise from the previous month and a considerable 46% jump since last year.

In order to stay ahead of this evolving market, Fiksu’s Micah Adler says marketers must continually adjust and take advantage of programmatic media-buying methods to spend their budgets as wisely as possible.

“As we enter another record-breaking month, brands must face the inevitable rising tide: mobile marketing is maturing and becoming more expensive,” he said.

“Sustainable success will be found by brands that use more precise forms of targeting to reach the right mobile users: those who will engage with an app and become loyal over the long term.”