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A cohort is a group of people who are statistically likely to share defined characteristics which are useful when it comes to marketing efforts. Let’s dive deeper into understanding this concept and how it can be used in mobile marketing.

Define Cohorts

In mobile marketing, cohort meaning in business can be defined as a set of users who are grouped together because they share common identifiers. These users, known as cohort customers or cohort audience can be people in a certain geographic location to users who have installed an app within the same period.

Importance of Cohorts

Cohorts help marketers compare data more easily, using metrics that matter in a certain context. With that being said, it is important to note that you can do with cohorts, such as cohorts analysis which is a vital aspect of app marketing. 

Let’s understand this using an example. A user may have installed an app. They have an engagement lifespan which indicates the trends you can manipulate. However, with a constantly changing user base, your changes may not be noticeable. 

To get an in-depth insight into the impact of your manipulations, you need to look at the same group of users over time. Moreover, engagement rate varies among users and user lifespans. Hence, the optimisation you implement will work on some groups and not others. Here cohort study means you analyse these groups and learn where your optimisation has worked. 

What is Cohort Analysis?

Cohort analysis is a method of segmenting users from a specific time period for measuring key performance indicators (KPIs). The result of the analysis can help you reduce the churn rate and increase average revenue per user (ARPU).

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A critical role of cohort analysis is that it removes any confusion that may occur because of running simultaneous improvements and campaigns. You get a clear picture of what is giving the best results and which channels are helping you to do so. 

Types of Cohort Analysis

Mobile marketers rely on some of the common types of cohorts to analyse their users:

  • User Acquisition Cohorts: This is segmented by the date of installation and channel source. 
  • Demographic Cohorts: Grouped by demographic characteristics such as age, gender, region, etc. 
  • Behavioural Cohorts: This is divided by in-app actions and user behaviour.

What is the Difference Between Cohort and Segment?

The key difference between user segmentation and cohort study is the focus on time. The former can be defined as the act of grouping users according to their shared characteristics like behaviours or demographics. However, when it comes to the latter, evaluation of user data with respect to a specific time period is a must. 

For instance, a gaming app could build an audience for a marketing message as follows:

  • Segment: Males who live in Chicago
  • Cohort: Chicago-based app users who have made in-app purchases in the past 30 days

Therefore, by upgrading a segment to a cohort in marketing, you can personalise your message and improve your chances of revenue. 


Thus, cohort marketing is a great strategy that can be used to segment and communicate with the right audience in the right way. It allows you to optimise messaging, channels, onboarding flow, and more, depending on the type of user you are targeting. You can use cohorts to develop highly targeted campaigns that can positively impact your business. 

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The most common method of collecting cohort data is conducting surveys with elaborate questions. This aids in identifying user pain points and provides you with the ability to market your products differently.