Benchmarking app store competitiveness & the cost of mobile app marketing
The App Store Competitive Index tracks the aggregate volume of downloads per day achieved by the top 200 ranked free iPhone apps in the U.S. In January, the Index continued to climb by 6.01 million daily downloads, up 13 percent from December’s 5.32 million.
The Cost per Loyal User Index measures the cost of acquiring a loyal user for brands who proactively market their apps. For the purposes of the Index, loyal users are defined as people who open an app three times or more. In January, the Index decreased seven percent, or 11 cents, to $1.56, from December’s $1.67.
Fiksu’s Analysis: January 2013
With record numbers of devices activated on Christmas Day 2012, user activity and app discovery naturally soared in the days and weeks following the holiday – and this carried over into the month of January.
Historically, the New Year is an attractive and cost-efficient time for app marketers to acquire new, loyal users and January 2013 was no exception. However, those marketers who wisely held back on the December spending frenzy in hopes of a January bargain may have been somewhat disappointed. While the Cost per Loyal User Index did indeed dip by 11 cents, this was by no means as dramatic as the 67 cent drop we witnessed in January 2012.
Still, the net effect of spreading out spending over the winter months is definitely paying off, presenting mobile app marketers with a steadier, more cost-effective landscape for mobile advertising. This staggered spending was especially true of marketers of apps in categories such as travel who benefit less from over-spending to climb the ranks right around the holidays.
We view these trends as early indicators of the ‘mainstreaming of mobile advertising’ as more marketers realize the strategic benefit of focusing on value over volume as they plan for the year ahead. And, as brands allocate more dedicated spending to their mobile advertising campaigns in 2013, we can expect them to only get savvier about aligning seasonal spending to the ebbs and flows of user acquisition costs.