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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 17, 2012
- Mobile app downloads are set to reach 45 billion by the end of 2012, with much more ahead for 2013.
- With just 8 days left before Christmas, competition is heating up and app developers are wishing for the gift of app downloads.
- Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices are still the crowd favorite for app developers, but they’re looking to build across both iOS and Android devices.
While mobile app downloads are on pace to ring in at the 45 billion mark for 2012, there’s more in store for 2013. In a recent predictions report from Gartner, mobile apps are set to “become a replacement for how you [consumers] interface with companies,” says Gartner analyst Brian Blau in eWEEK. Looking ahead to 2016, app downloads are expected to rise to 305 billion and reach $74 billion in revenue, becoming the No. 1 way to engage with brands.
App developers love Christmas morning almost as much as children, because thousands upon thousands of wrapped tablets and smartphones sit beneath the tree, waiting to be filled with exciting new apps. Tim Peterson of Adweek speaks with a number of app developers preparing for this holiday rush. “My understanding is that December is the largest month in the [Apple] App Store for traffic,” said Daniel Raffel, founder and CEO of how-to app Snapguide. For app developers looking for ways to effectively market their apps this holiday season and score many downloads on Christmas and in the days and weeks that follow, check out our latest infographic for some helpful tips.
The iPhone and iPad still sit at the top of the charts of app developers’ favorite platforms, capturing 89 and 86 percent of interest, respectively. This is according to a new Q4 2012 study of nearly 2,800 developers by Appcelerator and IDC. While these stats remain comparable to a similar Q3 study, the major takeaway is that there’s growing interest (up 18 percent) in developing apps across other operating systems. TechCrunch has more about the latest findings.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaOctober 11, 2012
- As the holiday season quickly approaches, Google is encouraging developers to build tablet-optimized Android apps.
- According to a new study, nearly half of major brands are displeased with the progress of their current mobile marketing efforts.
- “The Force” will soon be colliding with a flock of bitter birds in the new Star Wars-themed Angry Birds mobile game.
“Tech critics and gadget reviewers have long complained that there simply aren’t enough good Android tablet apps out there,” writes WIRED’s Nathan Olivarez-Giles. But now, Google is pushing to change this by urging developers to build tablet-optimized Android apps. On Oct. 8, Google posted a best-practices blog post series about publishing quality apps to its Google Play store, as well as three successful developer stories that illustrate how apps can take advantage of the tablet’s larger-screen formats. “With the holiday season now approaching, we’re creating even more ways for great tablet apps to be featured in Google Play — including a series of new app collections that highlight great apps specifically for tablet users,” Google said in a developer blog post.
A new study from the CMO Council finds that 47 percent of major brands are unhappy with their present mobile marketing and mobile consumer engagement efforts due to limited resources and talent, according to MediaPost. Thirty-seven percent of brands are still evaluating their mobile efforts, and just 14 percent are happy with results from current activities. These findings, which stemmed from a survey of 250 global marketers, also revealed that only 16 percent of companies have formal strategies for using mobile as a major conduit for customer engagement. But the importance of mobile marketing continues to grow: 32 percent of organizations are allocating more budget to developing apps and other mobile content. Read the full study: "Engage at Every Stage."
What do you get when you combine lightsabers, slingshots, and a pack of pilfering pigs? The Star Wars-themed Angry Birds mobile game, of course! Officially launching Thursday, Nov. 8, the latest Angry Birds installment is being developed by entertainment media company Rovio, and mobile users around the globe are eagerly anticipating the game. BGR has the full teaser video and image – complete with a bird holding a light saber. May the Force be with you.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaAugust 22, 2012
Venture capital investments in mobile have boomed this year, reaching levels not seen since 2001. For thrill-seekers hoping to hit the jackpot and “win big,” new smartphone and tablet apps are providing Las Vegas-style gambling options – with real money – at the swipe of an index finger. And following a series of leaks and rumors, Google Play will now offer gift cards for its content-distribution store.
Mobile now represents a staggering 46 percent of all VC investments, with venture backing for mobile consumer apps totaling nearly $4 billion during the first six months of 2012, according to new data from M&A advisor firm Rutberg & Company. During this time, VCs invested in 479 mobile startups, with the median funding round size netting at $3.5 million. “The six-month mobile investment total represents the highest level of activity for a half-year period since the firm initiated coverage in 2001 – in addition, 2012 mobile investments are currently $1 billion ahead of the pace set during the first half of 2011, which was the largest year for mobile tech venture funding in a decade,” reports Jason Ankeny in FierceMobileContent.
Juniper Research estimates that by 2017 consumers will gamble $100 billion on their mobile devices. Game developers have recognized this huge market opportunity and are starting to convert smartphones into virtual casinos – and up the ante by adding real-money bets. In the U.K., where it is legal, Big Fish Games Inc. will soon introduce a version of its gambling app Big Fish Casino with real-money betting, Bloomberg reports. “This is the biggest opportunity that game developers have had since the advent of the Internet,” Christopher Griffin, chief executive officer of Betable, said in his recent Bloomberg interview. While in-app gambling with real money isn’t yet cleared in the U.S., gaming giant Zynga is lobbying hard because the company has plans of its own to launch real-money gaming products in the first half of 2013, according to reports in the The Wall Street Journal.
After months of speculation and increasing user demands, Google Play gift cards are officially expected to hit U.S. retailers in the next few weeks, reports Engadget. The gift cards will be available in $10, $25 and $50 denominations, and users can redeem them for just about any digital content in the Play Store. These new cards represent Google’s latest step toward a “full-fledged content store," helping Google to compete with the popular Apple's iTunes gift cards and others in the physical retail store market, according to The Verge.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaAugust 17, 2012
According to industry data, mobile now trumps every other channel for media consumption. And a new study presents evidence that encourages app developers to increasingly incorporate custom ad experiences into in-app ads to bolster engagement. On the tablet front, Samsung has pulled out the big guns, unveiling its 2012 “hero product.” And two app brands in the jam-packed games category have found a way to crack the monetization mystery – and are reaping the benefits.
According to the latest InMobi data, mobile media consumption is through the roof, reports Mobile Marketing Watch. A new U.S. Q2 Mobile Media Consumption Report reveals that mobile now ranks first in overall daily media consumption, at 2.4 hours per day, outranking TV (2.35 hours) and PCs (1.6 hours).
A telling new report shows how advertisers can boost in-app engagement and click-through rates. MediaBrix has released results from its survey about what consumers like – and don’t like – about in-app advertising. The good news: Consumers like ads – 61 percent of smartphone users want free apps with ads – and they like the right ads, at the right time. “In-app advertising needs to acknowledge, embrace, and respect the user experience,” said MediaBriz CEO Ari Brandt in a VentureBeat report. The bottom line is that app developers must design custom ad experiences that are both innovative and integrated, and marketers must ensure their messages positively resonate with consumers.
In tablet news, Samsung began retailing the U.S. version of its tablet Galaxy Note 10.1. Although the company announced the device several months ago, it’s now “an entirely new beast,” according to VentureBeat. “The Galaxy Note 10.1 is being referred to as Samsung’s ‘hero product’ for 2012, and it’s evident from the constant retooling that the company was desperate to get this tablet right,” wrote reporter Devindra Hardawar.
Over the past few years, games have become the dominant category for mobile apps. Today, more than ever before, gaming app marketers are challenged to find ways to achieve monetization, the “Holy Grail” of gaming app marketing. This week, VentureBeat reported two mobile app companies that seem to have cracked the code. NaturalMotion’s iOS racing game, CSR Racing, generated a whopping $12 million in its first month of availability. And the Japanese gaming company Gree unveiled its North American revenue numbers for the first time, revealing the company grew 38 percent in the second quarter alone.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaAugust 1, 2012
School’s out, and just as we saw last year, iPhone app downloads started increasing during the beginning of the summer months, causing App Store competition to heat up. Fiksu’s June Indexes reflect this trend, plus a significant rise in the costs of loyal user acquisition.
Here’s a snapshot of the latest data:
· The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index (which measures the average aggregate daily download volume of the top 200 free U.S. iPhone apps) increased to 4.63 million daily downloads in June, up 1.98 percent from May’s 4.54 million.
· The Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index increased by 14.3 percent to $1.44, from $1.26 in May.
In June, there was a distinct shift in mobile app marketing spending behaviors. Unlike earlier months when marketers spent cautiously and assessed attribution options (as a result of Apple’s rumored transition away from the widely used UDID), June confidence and spending picked up again. In fact, we observed more brands resuming their use of UDID - as one of several attribution methods available - while following best practices regarding disclosure to ensure compliance with Apple’s privacy policies.
June’s Index data also reflected a quarter-end burst in mobile advertising campaign spending as brands sought to deplete remaining Q2 budgets.
Thanks to all who covered this month’s Index data, including Mike Minotti of VentureBeat, Alex Spencer of Mobile Marketing UK, Jason Ankeny of FierceMobileContent, and Michael Essany of Mobile Marketing Watch.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaJuly 27, 2012
This week, Apple announced its third quarter earnings. Though the company missed Wall Street’s lofty expectations this time around, Apple still moved an enormous amount of iDevices over the last three months, TechCrunch reports.
The tech giant reported revenue of $35 billion and earnings of $8.8 billion (or $9.32 per share). That was up from the $28.57 billion in revenue and profits of $7.31 billion (or $7.79 per share) Apple reported last year during the same quarter.
Apple once again saw strong sales for the iPhone – its best-selling device in Q3. The company sold 26 million iPhones during the quarter, up 28 percent from the same quarter last year. Additionally, the iPad saw a killer quarter, with a sales increase from 11.8 million in Q2 to a whopping 17 million in Q3.
"We're thrilled with record sales of 17 million iPads in the June quarter," said Apple’s Tim Cook said in a statement on announcement day. "We've also just updated the entire MacBook line, will release Mountain Lion [Wednesday], and will be launching iOS 6 this Fall. We are also really looking forward to the amazing new products we've got in the pipeline."
According to Huffington Post, Apple’s average selling prices for its various devices declined to levels last seen in 2010. This was largely due to the fact that consumers opted for less expensive device versions in Q3, instead of upgrading to the latest models.
Additionally in Q3, the company “increasingly relied on sales from large emerging markets such as China, where the Apple name holds even more cachet than it does here,” observes CNET’s Josh Lowensohn.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaJuly 26, 2012
After recently announcing the next version of Android, “Jelly Bean,” Google touted some impressive numbers surrounding the Google Play ecosystem. With 1.5 billion installs a month, 600,000 available apps and games and 20 billion app installs, Google is quickly closing the gap between Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
We’ve discussed the compelling opportunities the Android market offers and how it can benefit your app business in exceptional ways. To arm you with the information you need to improve Android app discovery, drive more installs and generate long-term, loyal usage, we've also developed a new eBook
In addition to discovering four “must-know” differences between Google Play and Apple’s App Store, our new eBook provides you with six valuable tips for Android marketing success, including:
1. Exploit the Marketing Attribution Capabilities of Google Play: Take full advantage of Google Play’s marketing attribution capabilities to conduct closed-loop analysis of your advertising, and base ongoing advertising decisions on known performance. As you acquire users, use this data to steer your marketing toward the sources that generate your most desired users, at the best cost.
2. Optimize Advertising in Real Time: With the insights gained from marketing attribution, optimize your advertising in real time toward traffic sources that are delivering the best results.
3. Optimize Your App for Search: In Google Play, search is the primary means of organic discovery. You can greatly influence search rank, and therefore app discovery, by identifying your most successful keyword and including it in the app title, and by using that keyword in the app description and promo text multiple times. Since updating your submission is quick and easy, consider experimenting with different keywords and combinations to see which yield better results.
4. Conduct Longer-Term Ad Campaigns with Multiple Networks: Google Play’s ranking algorithm rewards long-term user acquisition—apps that acquire and retain users are awarded with higher ranks. Therefore, ad campaigns should be sustained over several months, as opposed to short bursts of activity often seen in the iOS market.
5. Test Your App Presentation on Google Play: Take advantage of the fact that you can update your app immediately on Google Play. Test the way your app is presented. Try different app titles and meta tags. Test the app name in the logo. Explore new ways to describe your app, and look for new keywords.
6. Target Loyal Users—Not Just Installs: To build a thriving app business, you need installs by loyal users. It is loyal users who use your app repeatedly, make purchases, register, or take other actions that tie back to an ROI. An install, or even an app launch, does not mean that you have a loyal user. In fact, studies show that many users who install an app never even use it, or abandon it after a single use. It is loyal users on which you ultimately build your app business.
Posted by: Viki ZabalaJuly 25, 2012
New industry research indicates that Apple's iOS devices generate the most traffic for ads, while another study this week reveals the burgeoning growth of the mobile search and discovery market. And while we don’t know when it will arrive or what it will look like, an industry commentator predicts that an iPad Mini has the potential to “crush” Google’s Nexus 7 tablet.
According to an Opera Software report released this week, Apple’s devices are the most user-friendly and, in turn, generate the most traffic for mobile advertisers (46.5 percent).They also own a 61.4 percent share of mobile advertising revenue. “In addition to a solid user base, Apple has users who tend to spend more time on engaging advertisements usually featured on iOS,” writes CNET’s Donna Tam.
In other industry research news, IntoMobile is reporting on the latest Juniper Research study, which indicates that the mobile search and discovery market will grow to $15 billion by 2017, a threefold growth over what it is expected this year. According to the report, the vast number of apps crowding the app stores today is driving adoption of discovery services. Additionally, Google’s “domination” of the mobile Web search space has prompted other players to seek new ways to differentiate their products in a largely commoditized market. Full report findings can be found here.
Though Google’s Nexus 7 tablet has proved popular during its first few weeks of availability, Forbes’ Brian Caulfield predicts that Apple will soon respond by launching an iPad Mini which will “almost certainly crush Google’s Nexus 7.” He argues that Apple has three strong advantages over Google – more content, more apps and a better distribution network.
And as the world gears up for the summer Olympic Games opening on July 27, ZDNET has compiled a list of free iPhone and iPad apps to help visitors make the most of their time in London. From the “Official Results” app that delivers up-to-the-minute details on Olympic medalists to a “Tube Map” app that helps tourists navigate the city’s public transportation, when it comes to the 2012 Olympics, there’s an app for that.