“The ecosystem is really new, and a lot of companies are still finding their way,” said Glenn Kiladis, vice president and chief games evangelist at mobile marketing firm Fiksu. “You have to be careful on privacy regulations and a lot of other things.”
Developers love stability. If you give them enough time and a platform that works, they’ll eventually come up with something brilliant like Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, which was published in the seventh year after the launch of Sony’s PlayStation 3. It was a masterpiece, winning 10 awards including Game of the Year at the recent Dice Awards (the Oscars of gaming). And that was because the developers just had to worry about making their game, not the technology around it.
And this is just the beginning – if Twitter is to continue to follow in the footsteps of its Zuckerberg-led rival concerning mobile ads then the revenue potential could be huge - Fiksu reckons Twitter is set to dominate mobile advertising this year.
Twitter has reported that 184 million active users come from mobile, up 37 per cent compared to a year ago and accounting for 76 per cent of overall users.
Its mobile ad segment also made up for 75 per cent of all ad sales, working out at $165 million of the overall $200 million ad revenue.
“Holiday-enthused app users on new devices are more likely to become loyal users, as the first wave of apps they download are most often the apps they care about most,” said Micah Adler, CEO/founder of Fiksu, Boston.
According to Fiksu’s December indexes, the average cost per loyal application user saw a slight decrease of 4 cents as opposed to the usual jump around the holidays, suggesting marketers are getting smarter about how they spend their acquisition dollars.
“We’re reaching a maturation point in the app market as marketers get ever-smarter about how they use their marketing budgets,” said Micah Adler, CEO and founder of Fiksu.
User acquisition and marketing company Fiksu has released its December App Store Competitive Index and Cost per Loyal User Index, measuring app downloads and user acquisition costs for December 2013. The reports show app downloads spiked in December, thanks to so many new devices being given as holiday presents, while user acquisition costs decreased month-over-month.
In a surprise, the cost of acquiring loyal mobile app and game users fell in the busy month of December, according to an index tracked by mobile app marketing firm Fiksu.
Micah Adler, the chief executive of Fiksu, said that the decline in cost may reflect more maturity among mobile app marketers who refrained from spending or spent their money in a smarter way. Rather than trying to go “all in” during an expensive season for buying ads, they spread their marketing budgets across the entire season from Cyber Monday through the New Year.
iOS users are also more likely to not only download a new app, but continue to use it, said Chris Shuptrine, senior director of client development at app marketing firm Fiksu. Because of iOS users’ relative willingness to download and use new apps, they are actually 10 percent cheaper on a cost per acquisition basis, he added.
Samsung famously advertised its Galaxy S II and Galaxy S III smartphones in 2011 and 2012, respectively, by mocking Apple fanboys and making iPhones seem passe.
That clever piece of advertising was fairly effective: Android is the leading operating system for smartphones in the U.S. with 47.5 percent of the market, according to eMarketer. IOS is second with 39.5 percent.
“In the beginning for any client, marketing at first will be largely user-acquisition oriented, in that you need to build up a critical mass of a user base prior to then embarking on how you build on the trust and confidence with your customers,” said Craig Palli, chief strategy officer at Fiksu, Boston.
The PGA Tour Caddie mobile application has evolved its strategy beyond acquiring users to retargeting them and triggering repeat visits.
Tracking and retargeting have long been a challenge on mobile due to a lack of cookies or an alternative form of tracing users. The PGA Tour Caddie app, which was created by Shotzoom Software, overcomes this obstacle with Fiksu’s technology for retargeting.
“Some of the most successful ads have a simple call to action, such as, ‘We haven’t seen you in awhile. Try this new feature that we’ve added to our app,’ and other mobile-centric messages,” said Fiksu’s chief strategy officer, Craig Palli.
As the mobile app market matures, vendors are taking note and offering tools to help app developers drive more engagement among their existing users.
One such company is mobile app marketing firm Fiksu, which unveiled its retargeting tool on Thursday.
"2013 was a really interesting year in terms of maturation, milestones and new trends," said Craig Palli, chief strategy officer at Fiksu, a mobilemarketing company based in Boston.
Snapchat, Vine, and Candy Crush Saga earned coveted spots on smartphones this year, making them among the most downloaded apps of the year.
This year, the most downloaded apps were new takes on communication, gaming, and entertainment, according to mobile app experts.
The iTunes App Store freeze — when app rankings stop moving for a period of time, traditionally right around Christmas — has long been a cause for both excitement and concern among app marketers. This year, we can confidently say that it’s not just less important than it used to be: It’s downright irrelevant.
For a few years, in 2009 and 2010, the App Store freeze was a glorious opportunity for app marketers. A well-timed advertising blitz could push an app to the top of the charts just before the freeze. As soon as the ranks stopped changing, marketers would cut their ad spend and enjoy a free stay at the top of the charts for days — and watch with glee as downloads piled up. Since the freeze coincided with Christmas, loads of people with new phones would be heading to the app store to load up on games and apps, so those spots at the top of the charts were even more valuable than usual.