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Mobile app marketing
Posted by: Jeremy SaccoOctober 2, 2013
The August Index was one for the record books, with the Cost per Loyal User index hitting an all-time high of $1.90 – a six percent, or ten cent, increase from July’s $1.80. Driving this increase were two main factors:
First, we continue to see the effects of big brands saturating the market to cost-effectively acquire loyal users. Bigger brands are ready and willing to pay more for the valuable users, like those on Facebook, ultimately driving up this competitive cost. They also may be starting to realize that mobile is an undervalued media channel and increasing their willingness to invest in it.
Second, marketers are looking ahead and starting to make headway with holiday planning. Many are applying their Q3 budgets to test different mobile marketing strategies before the big rush in Q4 when costs will likely rise further, as seen in previous years. Now, more than ever, is the time for mobile marketers to hone their campaign strategies before the real competition starts.
While a two percent bump to 5.9 million daily downloads is a small change month over month, it does represent a 46 percent year-over-year increase from August 2012, underscoring the explosion of app usage.
Check back next month to see how the much the iOS7 and iPhone 5s/5c launches affect the Index for September! But in the mean-time, tune in to our device and OS adoption tracker to see how they’re taking off.
Posted by: Jeremy SaccoSeptember 12, 2013
August has been a pretty slow month for mobile app marketing in recent years, but this year went a different direction. Not only did our July indexes reach impressive heights, but Apple also introduced a new wrinkle to its ranking algorithm all while gearing up for its annual launch of new eye-catching gadgets. So much excitement, that we almost missed the coveted Index post!
The Fiksu Cost per Loyal User index reached a high of $1.80 in July – up from June’s $1.50. This is the highest the CPL has ever been since December 2011, when marketers spent heavily to drive up app store rankings before the traditional App Store freeze. Fiksu’s App Store Competitive Index also saw an uptick of four percent to 5.8 million daily downloads in July.
These fluctuations reflect several factors: Apple's recent incorporation of app ratings into its App Store Top Charts ranking algorithm, the growing number of brands leveraging Facebook's mobile app install ads, and increased mobile app activity during the dog days of summer.
With Apple’s ranking algorithm change, which appears to favor highly-rated apps and penalizing others, app marketers must now work even harder to generate positive ratings from engaged users, since user acquisition costs for apps without stellar ratings will now be more expensive. We also saw competition creeping up in July as advertisers began ramping up campaigns in the months leading up to the new iPhone launches. This was particularly evident with games publishers, as they vied for the attention of countless students who turned to playing games to fill their free time during the hot summer days.
Thanks to all who covered this month’s indexes, including: AdExchanger, App Developer Magazine, FierceMobileContent, Inc. Magazine, MediaPost, Mobile Entertainment, Mobile Marketing Magazine, Mobile Marketing Watch, Mobile World Live, PocketGamer, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat!
Posted by: Jeremy SaccoJuly 31, 2013
“Come on in, the water’s fine…”
As Facebook continues to rock the news world, our June Index data is also feeling the love from the social networking giant.
Brands are beginning to catch on to the power of Facebook’s mobile app installs ads to drive large volumes of quality users at incredibly low CPIs. The impact of this growing demand was most vividly evident in the 13 percent increase we witnessed in our Cost per Loyal User Index this month, up $.17 to $1.55.
What does this mean moving forward?
The reality is that as brands, large and small, ramp up their spending on Facebook, app marketing costs and competition will continue to heat up. This means the best time to participate in Facebook mobile install ads is now.
But if we take a step back and examine this month’s Indexes against June 2012, the year-over-year cost to acquire loyal users has increased by only four percent, indicating maturation in app marketing compared to a year ago as marketers’ abilities to leverage timing, targeting and optimization are in full effect. This also shows the consistent seasonality of app marketing costs, as the increase from May to June last year was just over 14 percent, almost exactly consistent with this year.
As for the App Store Competitive Index, the five percent drop signals the "summer doldrums" have set in as people tend to consume fewer new apps than during other times of the year.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaJune 3, 2013
Following a steady couple of months, April saw competition – and costs - heating up for mobile app marketers. The Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index reached $1.50, an increase of 10 percent, or 14 cents over March’s $1.36, while the App Store Competitive Index rose 11 percent, to 5.61 million daily downloads from 5.02 million in March.
After analyzing the data, it was clear to us that three distinct forces contributed to these dynamics in April:
- First, the relentless industry investment in mobile by brands large and small that kept competition high throughout the month.
- Second, the industry’s smooth transition from Apple’s UDID to its new Advertising Identifier (IDFA) actually kept traffic stable when it could have caused some disruption.
- And third, the increasing traction of Facebook mobile app install ads, which may have provided developers with a greater pool of efficient inventory and likely buffered the industry against even greater rises in costs.
Interestingly, the end of UDID and the transition to Apple's new IDFA prompted many high-visibility, valuable app publishers, such as Pandora, to enter the marketplace, bumping up available premium inventory for advertisers. These kinds of publishers previously didn’t offer attributable ad inventory due to concerns about earlier identifiers, but the advertising-friendly IDFA has changed their minds. We’ll continue to watch this trend and report back in our May Indexes.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaMay 1, 2013
It’s been a memorable day for Fiksu, as we reached another notable milestone! As of April 30, 2013 – two years since our launch – the Fiksu Mobile App Marketing Platform has recorded its one hundred billionth app user action and has driven more than one billion app downloads. This data is critical to our ability to drive real-time mobile ad campaign optimization and deliver the high-performance marketing results that leading brands demand. It’s also the foundation of the Fiksu Indexes and our insights into the complex app marketing landscape.
In analyzing this month’s Index data, we found that the volume of daily downloads of the top 200 free iPhone apps and mobile app marketing costs remained steady in March – extending from February’s calm and consistent, yet valuable landscape.
We saw the Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index increase by five percent, or seven cents, to $1.36, from February’s $1.29.
The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index dipped four percent, to 5.02 million daily downloads in March from February’s 5.20 million. Notably, this represents a 12 percent year-over-year increase from March 2012.
March’s “new normal” was good news for mobile app marketers. Inventory has increased but costs have held steady, reflecting a maturity in the overall quality of apps and their ability to engage users.
Beginning of the End for UDIDs
Despite the last few months of relative stability, marketers should always be prepared for the ebbs and flows within the app ecosystem. In fact, today is a notable day in that Apple’s recent announcement goes into effect: apps that access UDIDs will no longer be approved for the App Store. While apps that are already approved can continue to access the UDIDs for the time being, the majority of that traffic is shifting to the Advertising Identifier. The change comes as no surprise to app publishers who follow the industry, but it's still a significant step in the ongoing evolution of app marketing.
We've also seen Apple evolving its stance on apps used to promote other apps, and there have been some indications that the MAC address -- which has similar privacy concerns to the UDID, but has received much less attention -- could be the next tracking option to face Apple's scrutiny. We can expect the impact of these and other factors to start revealing themselves in next month’s April Index data and beyond.
Posted by: Craig PalliMarch 27, 2013
This post originally appeared on Chief Marketer.
The mobile revolution isn’t coming—it’s already happened. If the early bird gets the worm, then those with early-adopter advantage will be quick to disrupt, steal market share and monetize mobile.
Many brands have already invested to bolster their mobile presence. Coca-Cola invested $10M in Spotify and Starbucks $25M in Square. Aetna bought iTriage, and Nordstrom and Priceline acquired Hautelook and Kayak respectively.
There’s no time to waste. Mobile apps are already part of our cultural fabric, the go-to source for news and entertainment replacing radio, TV, and the “traditional” Web. In fact, 82% of smartphone users say they couldn’t go a day without their apps, according to Apigee.
Mobile apps must become central to your business strategy—they need to be more than just a “hey, we’ve-got-one” check box in your marketing plan. Put simply, without a strategic, organizational commitment to mobile marketing, brands risk losing competitive edge.
“With more than 360 billion downloads between 2008-2017, apps cannot be ignored as an important channel to reaching customers,” says Josh Martin, director, apps research at Strategy Analytics. “Big brands have recognized this trend and have begun making apps an essential component of their strategy. As the market continues to evolve so must the marketing, capability and functionality of apps to continue to drive downloads and user engagement.”
Sizing the potential
Researchers project enormous revenue growth from mobile apps and advertising. In fact, businesses like Groupon, Zillow, and Yelp that started on the Web are already driving more revenue from mobile. Facebook has more mobile than desktop users. Pandora reports 75% of listener hours via mobile. And it’s not just digital businesses—Walgreens, for example, reports 40% of all digital prescriptions come through mobile.
The mobile app marketing opportunity
Apps are a lifestyle mainstay. Ahead of the 2012 U.S. presidential election, five of the top 10 apps in the Apple’s App Store were election-specific or news-related. During Hurricane Sandy, news and weather apps skyrocketed. Right now, two of the top 10 apps are NCAA tournament-focused.
Brand marketers are rapidly realizing that mobile apps provide an incredible canvas because the connection they build is fundamentally different than other channels. Mobile delivers richness and reach—plus targeting and pervasiveness—at a significantly lower cost.
Two household names, Coke and Disney, recognized this early on. Tom Daly, Coca-Cola group director of mobile and search, told me recently: “Establishing a ‘mobile community’ within The Coca-Cola Company represented an opportunity to focus the best marketing minds within the system to collaborate and create best-in-class mobile marketing programs, share and learn best practices, and evolve our strategic approach to mobile. This approach plays an important role in accelerating the pace at which are can capture the value of mobile.”
Similarly, Disney is leveraging hundreds of apps spanning multiple lines of business to globally promote brand engagement. Case in point: Disney’s Where’s My Valentine app reached No. 1 in games in 69 countries, No. 1 overall in six countries, and is in the top 10 overall in almost 100 countries.
So it costs a lot of money, right?
Not so. Mobile app marketing is actually cheaper than other marketing options. According to the Fiksu Index, the average cost to acquire a loyal user (someone who opens an app 3 times) ranges from $1.20 to $1.50. That’s equivalent to the cost of a Google AdWord click, which drives a one-time Web page visit, compared to a downloaded and repeatedly used app on your customer’s device.
It’s this incredible cost-efficiency, combined with the size, immediacy, reach, and targeting of mobile app marketing, that makes it so attractive to brand marketers.
Profit from opportunism
Opportunity lies in leveraging technology advancements or timely cultural or news-driven events.
For example, Walgreens leapt on Apple’s Passbook and catapulted its app into the top 10 on September 9, 2012, driving more than one million downloads. ABC’s Oscars app reached No. 12, securing more than 100,000 downloads. Similarly, Coke and Samsung had great success with Olympics apps last year.
Bottom line: your audiences are already on mobile, and it’s where they prefer to engage. Brands must go big with mobile app marketing in 2013, or play catch-up.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaFebruary 14, 2013
This post -- written by our Craig Palli -- originally appeared on Boston.com.
With more than 1.5 million apps in the Apple and Android app stores, mobile app marketers face the enormous challenge of achieving discoverability, sustained user engagement and, ultimately, monetization. Successfully marketing your app requires more than strategic mobile media buying and compelling, creative advertising. High-performance mobile app marketers have a laser-like focus on targeting and acquiring loyal users – those who take a specific action, such as an in-app purchase or registration. It's these loyal users who become repeat customers, word-of-mouth advocates, and deliver real, ongoing ROI.
The following eight tips for marketing your app are focused on driving more of these loyal users. They're based on more than 70 billion user-based app actions, including launches, registrations, and in-app purchases, as well as real time bidding requests recorded on our platform, and they're proven marketing tactics for putting your app ahead of the competition:
- Establish goals for loyal users. Exactly what constitutes a loyal user will vary from app to app – perhaps it's opening the app a certain number of times or completing an in-app purchase or registration – so define that metric before launching any acquisition campaigns. You'll also need to determine your lifetime value per user so you can set cost-per-conversion targets (i.e., determine how much to pay for different traffic volumes to deliver the best possible ROI).
- Promote your app across several traffic sources. There are several types of traffic sources for mobile apps: ad networks, real-time bidding exchanges, incentivized download networks, and more. Using just one source – or even one from each general type – gives you too small a universe to be successful. You'd be missing out on valuable opportunities to identify the best sources for large volumes of loyal users. In fact, working with several traffic sources can improve loyal acquisition results by up to five times.
- Track post-download activity. As your mobile ad campaigns are running, it’s critical to track users’ post-download activities and tie this data back to its traffic source, ad creative, and other campaign variables. This helps to pinpoint which specific traffic sources and campaigns are driving your most loyal users – not just the most downloads.
- Optimize ad campaigns in real-time. By analyzing real-time data, it’s possible to eliminate inefficient ad spending and shift budget to those traffic sources and campaigns that are delivering loyal users.
- Employ a campaign optimization solution. Optimizing advertising campaigns based on post-download actions is challenging but there are automated solutions available. Instead of managing a huge matrix of ad networks, costs, creative, downloads, and conversion rates, it's worth investigating a solution that incorporates everything and adjusts your campaign spending on the fly.
- Conduct ongoing closed-loop analysis. Continuous analysis of marketing campaign performance, post-download usage and revenue return helps you understand, at a granular level, what's moving the needle. It’s important to dive into these analytics frequently to fine-tune campaign planning and align with marketing objectives.
- Conduct a loyal user acquisition test. Not convinced that the concept of marketing specifically to bring in loyal users will produce results? It's easily testable. Assign a portion of your marketing budget to a test that employs the above-recommended strategies. You’ll gain valuable insights into how a loyal user acquisition strategy can directly impact your bottom line.
- Benchmark performance against industry averages. The best way to improve your mobile marketing results is to more precisely understand the competitive landscape you're pouring your budget into. By benchmarking how your mobile app marketing stacks up against industry averages, you’ll gain a larger, more accurate picture of the trends impacting your business goals, allowing you to adapt and plan with more agility.
Mobile app marketing shouldn't require guesswork. By deploying these tested strategies and tactics, mobile app marketers can achieve high-performance results that not only drive business objectives, but also acquire large volumes of loyal users.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaDecember 31, 2012
Following the momentous iPhone 5 launch, which prompted a period of cost-efficient marketing and heightened organic searches, we observed a dramatic U-turn in November as holiday season spending accelerated and mobile app marketing costs jumped.
For November, the Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index increased 30 percent, or 32 cents, to $1.38, compared to October’s $1.06. This marked a sharp change in our Index’s trajectory, which steadily declined during the preceding four months, hitting a low for the year during October when the iPhone 5 launch drove increased organic searches and more cost-efficient marketing spends. November’s spike brought marketing costs remarkably close to last year’s level in November 2011, mirroring the impact of the iPhone 4S launch followed by the holiday rush.
Fiksu's November App Store Competitive Index decreased to 4.57 million daily downloads in November, down 15.4 percent from October’s 5.4 million, which had been a seven-month high, driven by enthusiastic new iPhone 5 owners.
Unlike last year, when incentivized networks were still a larger part of the mobile app marketing mix, marketers faced the reality of needing to pay more to get more during the competitive 2012 pre-holiday season. This year, updated App Store rules didn't allow app developers to have offer walls in their apps that incentivized users to install them in exchange for free in-app purchases. Therefore, that consumer acquisition source was impacted. Though incentivized networks still exist, inventory has decreased, so costs have increased as app developers pay a premium for available inventory.
Also, many app marketers target the holiday season to launch or update their apps – and to offset a decline in organic searches in November, marketers had to increase their spending to get their new apps in front of highly engaged, loyal users. Additionally, confusion surrounding Apple’s App Store freeze may have prompted some marketers to spend more money earlier instead of relying on the freeze. This would have been a good decision in most cases, as the freeze turned out to be less than 24 hours this year.
If the 2011 holiday season foreshadows what’s to come, we can expect marketing costs to continue climbing through December as advertisers spend heavily to drive up app store rankings in preparation for the rush of user activity and app discovery at Christmas time. In fact, early reports from Flurry indicate that app downloads reached 328 million on Christmas Day alone – a record high for single day, reports TechCrunch.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaDecember 13, 2012
It’s been a busy few weeks for Fiksu! Last week, in between stops at the Game Monetization Summit, Mobile Gaming Europe, and AppNation, we debuted FreeMyApps for Android. Today, we’re introducing a number of innovative enhancements to our flagship Fiksu Platform that make it the first and only platform to provide comprehensive tracking, centralized media buying access, advanced optimization, and detailed reporting for mobile app marketers. Put simply, it's a high-performance platform for mobile app marketing.
At the center of these updates is our new powerful reporting and analytics dashboard for tracking mobile app advertising performance and media spend. Our platform also now features the most technologically advanced approach to attribution and tracking for real-time bidding (RTB), removing the guesswork from bidding and buying decisions and solving the historically difficult problem of mobile targeting.
We recognize that a robust mobile advertising platform is the future of mobile app marketing, and we're committed to leading the charge. We’ve already seen impressive results for our customers’ user acquisition programs, including up to 60 percent reduction in media costs, up to a three-time increase in loyal user acquisition, and significant revenue for 30 of the top 50 grossing gaming app publishers.
Here’s a quick look at the new and enhanced features:
- New analytics dashboard: The new Fiksu dashboard provides full transparency into mobile advertising performance including detailed statistics on post-download behaviors such as purchases and registrations. It equips marketers with deep, customizable analysis into loyal user acquisition and monetization tactics by ad network, campaign, country, and device, moving targeting beyond CPI to focus on what really matters: finding users that engage and monetize.
- Tracking and attribution: With five patents pending around mobile ad tracking and app marketing, our platform delivers the most accurate, measurable results and the greatest buying power. A multitechnology approach, including UDID, Advertising Identifier, Digital Fingerprinting, HTML5 cookies, and MAC Address tracking, enables access to more than 225 billion global monthly impressions across hundreds of ad networks, real-time bidding exchanges, social networks, and premium publisher sources.
- Broadest campaign tracking: Our platform now allows marketers to track all their campaigns by providing tracking links that can be used to monitor and report on social media, email, QR codes, and other campaigns — all in one central location within the Fiksu dashboard, regardless of the campaigns’ origins.
- Centralized media buying: We can now connect app marketers to more than 95 percent of all available iOS and Android inventory. Our platform’s ad buying capabilities are fueled by recent enhancements to our demand-side RTB platform, enabling the most value through targeted, highly cost-efficient media buying. Unparalleled technology advances give us access to this valuable RTB inventory without the need for UDIDs or identifiers.
- KnowledgeBase: Our platform draws upon 59 billion tracked app events, with an additional 1.7 billion added every week, to deliver unprecedented insights that drive precise targeting, removing guesswork from bidding and buying decisions.
We are truly excited to launch the new platform and looking forward to continued growth in 2013.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaSeptember 11, 2012
Tomorrow is a big day for app marketers, and it’s not just because Apple is announcing the much-rumored and anticipated iPhone 5.
It’s because the arrival of the iPhone 5 heralds a fantastic mobile app marketing opportunity for brands – an opportunity that starts with tomorrow’s launch event, picks up steam as the hottest new mobile device hits the shelves mid-month and extends throughout the rest of September well into October and November. Here at Fiksu, we are calling it “Christmas in September!”
To help mobile app marketers and developers understand how to make the most of this rich and timely opportunity, we analyzed data from the last big iPhone 4S launch in October 2011 to help portray what to expect on September 21, 2012.
This infographic spells it all out. If your app is looking to ride the iPhone 5 marketing wave, now’s the time to get in on the action.
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