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Posted by: Viki ZabalaSeptember 30, 2011
Yesterday Apple confirmed the much-anticipated announcement of the iPhone 5 slated for Oct. 4th. Today, TechCrunch reports that 41 percent of U.S. mobile users intend to buy the new device, citing survey results from mobile ad network InMobi.
It’s no wonder. Rumors and speculation about the new iPhone have been circulating for months, firing up consumer desire and purchase intent.
But how did this anticipation impact the world of mobile app marketing? Significantly, it appears. According to the latest data from our Fiksu Indexes, August was a challenging month for mobile app marketers.
This waiting game, as described in an article in today’s PaidContent, can often lead to a slowdown in new device purchases. What’s more, according to the Fiksu Indexes, fewer apps were downloaded and subsequently used in August. Our research also determined a significant decline in organic downloads. The combined effect caused a significant spike in marketing costs to acquire loyal users (those who opened an app three times or more).
- The August App Store Competitive Index, which tracks the aggregate volume of downloads per day achieved by the Top 200 ranked free iPhone apps in the U.S., revealed that the volume of downloads decreased by almost five percent to 4.06 million from 4.25 million in July.
- The August Cost per Loyal User Index, which measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who proactively market their apps, jumped 28.3 percent – 34 cents – from July’s $1.20 to $1.54.
Josh Martin, director of apps research at Strategy Analytics offered this analysis, "The app stores are constantly moving targets which present mobile app marketers with an ever-changing set of competitive pressures and budgetary decisions. The Fiksu Indexes provide marketers with a macroview of this competitive landscape accounting for major market events such as the banning of incentivized downloads and anticipation of iPhone 5 – valuable insight in an increasingly fractured market."
For more information, charts and full analysis of the new Index data, please visit our Index resource library.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaAugust 30, 2011
A recent study by eMarketer revealed that 63 percent of mobile marketers are either not trying to measure return on investment on mobile campaigns or are not able to evaluate performance at all. This sobering study shows that while the mobile industry has made huge strides in recent years, gauging app marketing effectiveness continues to be a challenge. For many, click-based campaigns are the default metric, however, like the name suggests, they only measure clicks. And clicks are ephemeral – they are not synonymous with user engagement and loyalty.
Acquiring loyal users is the key to building a sustainable mobile app business. And the best way to do this is to more precisely understand the competitive landscape into which you are competing for visibility and pouring your budget.
Last month, we introduced our Fiksu Indexes to equip mobile app marketers with more meaningful metrics to benchmark their performance against industry averages. Published monthly, the Indexes measure the monthly fluctuations in competition for rank in the app stores and the cost to acquire loyal users (those who open an app three times or more).
Our July Index metrics are now in – revealing that last month was a slightly less expensive month for mobile marketers to acquire loyal users and achieve rank in the app stores.
- The App Store Competitive Index recorded a month-over-month decline from 4.505 million app downloads per day in June to 4.25 million in July.
- Following four previous months of consecutive increases in the cost to acquire loyal users, the Cost per Loyal User Index decreased by 5.5 percent from $1.27 in June to $1.20 in July.
Here are a few industry reactions:
In response to the July Index findings, VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi comments, "It is interesting that app developers can use the Fiksu data to get a snapshot of the overall app economy." For complete VentureBeat coverage, please see here.
In a piece featuring the July data, Pocket Gamer’s Jon Jordan writes, “Fiksu comments that the decline from June to July could be due to the tailing off of incentivized downloads on iOS, which it says has reduced the ability of publishers to quickly gain rank through bulk downloads, but which delivers higher loyal user conversion rates at a lower net cost.”
For more information, charts and our full analysis of the new Index data, please visit our Index resource library.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaAugust 1, 2011
Brands are quickly realizing that in order to build sustainable app businesses, it’s going to take much more than just reaching sky-high download numbers. It’s becoming increasingly clear to developers, publishers and marketers alike that forging real relationships with users through ongoing engagement to keep them coming back for more, is critical. But in an industry where there is no simple definition of a "loyal user," and no standard metric exists for measuring ROI beyond app downloads, measuring campaign effectiveness and optimizing spend remains an elusive challenge.
As the mobile app landscape continues to move ahead at lightning speed, our team has remained focused on meeting this velocity head on – while helping brands remove the guesswork from the complex and ever-shifting mobile marketing equation. After spending several months closely analyzing almost two billion mobile app actions captured by our platform, we were thrilled to launch our inaugural Fiksu Indexes last week to help marketers benchmark their performance against industry averages while empowering them to make more intelligent business decisions.
We believe that loyal users are the key to sustained growth for mobile app business. Our Cost per Loyal User Index not only tracks the fluctuating cost of acquiring loyal users – defined as a person who opens an app three or more times – but also provides a standard measurement that is applicable across all app categories. Our App Store Competitive Index analyzes the average aggregate volume of the daily downloads of the Top 200 ranked free iPhone apps in the U.S. to illustrate how specific ranking positions become more and less competitive over time.
By focusing on app marketers’ two biggest challenges - cost and volume - we’ve seen an overwhelming response to our Indexes in these first few days. Here are a few industry reactions:
GigaOM’s Ryan Kim has long believed that app developers and marketers need to move away from the simple pursuit of pure downloads and search instead for engaged and loyal users in order to remain successful. He shares his take on our Indexes here - What’s a loyal mobile app user & how much do they cost? He writes, "I think [Fiksu] raises an interesting point and is right to try and get at this question. For developers, the real challenge is to acquire users that come back. These are the people that can be monetized through advertisements and will buy in-app purchases. These are the people that can keep a game like Tap Zoo at the head of the top grossing charts list for the better part of a year."
In examining the Fiksu Indexes, ReadWriteMobile’s Sarah Perez writes, "Both tools could certainly function as worthy complements to whatever trend-tracking, analytical resources developers, publishers and brands already have at their disposal."
Kim Mai-Cutler of Inside Mobile Apps sat down with Micah Adler, Fiksu’s founder and CEO, for a comprehensive Q&A on the Index findings, as well as a deep-dive into how user acquisition has changed since Apple’s recent ban on incentivized downloads. You can check out their full conversation here.
For more information, charts and our full analysis of the Index data, visit our Index resource library. Stay tuned for more as the Indexes will be published monthly. And for all you Android users out there, check back soon since we will be expanding our Indexes to include tracking and analysis of the Android market in the near future.
Posted by: Craig PalliJune 8, 2011
Much has been written in the past month about Apple’s ban on apps that use incentivized downloads to promote other apps. Whether you support Apple’s move or not, there remains one indisputable fact: for advertisers, incentivized networks have been a valuable and cost-effective means of securing app store visibility and downloads; and for app publishers it has been a complementary, high margin revenue stream.
So before the train leaves the station altogether, we say: “Incentive based downloads are still viable, so get 'em while you can!”
As of April 19, 2011, Apple stopped accepting new apps with offer walls that enable incentivized downloads. But there are preexisting apps that contain these mechanics; and inventory in these apps is still available for the time being. And for those mobile app brands that have not yet used incentivized networks, why not try them – right now, while you still can – to stimulate your downloads? What’s to lose? Carpe Diem!
But when incentive based downloads do dry up, what will this change mean to mobile app marketers?
Apple’s move signals an interest in creating more opportunities for visibility for many different types of apps. We think this turn of events could serve as a catalyst for change and opportunity for the whole app ecosystem. Here’s our take on a few ways this change may manifest itself:
- The lack of apps being buoyed by incentivized downloads will create a boost in visibility for apps previously not sourcing this traffic.
- App marketers will need to acquire fewer downloads through advertising to achieve a given rank.
- Those marketers who were reliant on incentive based networks will seek diversification through sources like real-time bidding platforms and cost-per-click networks. Although the cost per conversion may increase, a focus on properly measuring and managing loyal users will help to ensure a fairly constant ROI.
To quote Darwin: “It is not the strongest that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” At Fiksu, change is part of the equation. We have always cast a wide net to ferret out opportunities from across the mobile ad ecosystem. We are closely monitoring and adapting to these changing dynamics so our clients continue to thrive, supported by our platform’s ability to optimize marketing spend by associating app usage data within the most effective ad channels – whichever ones they may be.