Getting Your Share of the Mobile App Market


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So you want to join the mobile app craze? We’ve all heard the iPhone app rags-to-riches stories. With over 200,000 Android devices being activated every day, targeting your app to the Android Market may be a wise choice. But with almost 100,000 apps in the Android Market and 250,000 in the Apple App Store, how are you going to get your app noticed? Doing nothing and hoping people will find you is not enough. Building a web site is not enough. You need strategies and techniques - and you need to build your app to align with your strategy.
The “freemium” model is becoming quite popular, but how do you apply it to your app? What can you do to get noticed? Can you build multiple app “properties” and use them to your marketing advantage? How can you use social media to your advantage? How can you tell if your efforts are paying off?

These slides are from a talk I gave on Marketing and Monetizing your mobile app and Measuring the results.

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Getting Your Share of the Mobile App Market

  1. Getting Your Share of the Mobile Dan Syrstad App Presented at Twin Cities OTUG 2010-10-20 Market Copyright 2010 Visual Systems Corp. All Rights Reserved.
  2. wn? ou O Do Y at P hone Wh
  3. How Many of You Have App In... ?
  4. What This Talk Is About... ● How to get your app noticed (Marketing) ● How to Get Paid (Monetization) ● How to determine if it's working (Measuring)
  5. What This Talk Isn't About - How to write an app - How to publish an app - How I can do it for you
  6. Who Am I? Software Industry: 28 years Founder of Visual Systems: 19 years Independent Consultant (Day Job) Android Developer (by night): 2 years
  7. What I've Done Custom Software Commercial Software Marketing
  8. My Android Games:
  9. What I Haven't Done... I haven't implemented some of the ideas I'll talk about. But others have, and I'll talk about that.
  10. State of the App World Smart Phone Sales Source: [1]
  11. Smart Phone Sales Source: [1]
  12. Apple App Store - Launched 6/2008 - # of Apps: 250,000 as of 8/28/2010 [2] - ~12,500 New Apps/Month
  13. Apple App Store Source: [3]
  14. Android Market - Launched 10/2008 - # of Apps: 80,000 (official) as of 9/9/2010 - Or maybe 140,000 [4] - ~17,000 New Apps/Month - 1.8 billion downloads (2010-10-13
  15. Android Market Source: [5]
  16. Apple vs. Android - Fight! iPad Released Droid Released
  17. State of the App World Source: [4]
  18. Now What Do You Do? - It's hard to get noticed by chance - How do you stand out in a crowd of 100,000?
  19. Ready for the Fire Hose? - Not just one thing – No Silver Bullet - One thing is for sure: You need a polished, engaging app - Some things will work for your app, some might not. - Test, tweak, repeat...
  20. Getting Your App Noticed Leverage your launch momentum: Figure out your strategy ahead of time Create a buzz at launch
  21. Get App Store/Market Visibility This should be your ultimate goal Visibility Here = Free Advertising You get here by being highly rated - OR - On a new launch - OR - On an update (Just In - Android)
  22. App Store Visibility
  23. Android Market Visibility
  24. Be Searchable - Include keywords which might be used in app description - Example: Word Game, Puzzle - A similar game name
  25. Your Icon and Title - Should give good impression of what your app is and what it does
  26. Human Sharing – Word of Mouth - We're talking face-to-face here - Many apps are “found” this way - Ask for it! Ask users to tell friends
  27. Electronic Sharing - In-app features to Tweet, Facebook, share via email, SMS...
  28. Cross-Promotion - Promote your other apps to established user base - Spread the cost of user acquistion - Extremely effective
  29. Cross Promotion
  30. Cross Promotion Different Flavors: - House Ads - More Games option - Flurry AppCircle - AdMob Download Exchange - Social Gaming (coming...)
  31. Lite Version - Lite/Free version sells the Full version - Low barrier to getting on the phone - Make sure to have prominent “Buy Full” option - More in the Getting Paid section...
  32. Get Reviewed - Contact app review sites and get reviewed
  33. Social Gaming Put social features in your game to get a viral effect: - Global Leaderboards is a simple one - Challenges - Multiplayer
  34. Social Gaming Some free third-party SDKs do this: - OpenFeint (iPhone & Android) - Scoreloop (challenges, can earn $) - One profile for all games - Friend strangers - Leaderboards, challenges, achievements - Tweet/FB post scores - Shows friend's games (cross-promo) - Which one??
  35. Social Gaming
  36. Get Featured ...on Google, T-Mobile, Sprint, & others
  37. Social Media - Companion web site: Blog, screenshots, leaderboards, etc. Update content often. - Submit site to Google - Facebook Page - Twitter account for app/company - YouTube Channel – app videos - LinkedIn – join groups and announce releases
  38. Social Media - Announce releases to blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc. - Think of things to tweet about: high scores, new features, sales... - “Like” plug-in for web site - Keep talking about it!
  39. Social Media There are services which help you manage social media: - (free & paid) – also has analtyics and mention tracking - (free)
  40. Have a Sale! …and promote it! (another thing to talk about)
  41. “Pay” to Share Allow users to unlock features, get achivements, etc. if they share with another user
  42. Advertise Your App ($) - Google AdWords (+) - AdMob, MobClix, etc. - Facebook (don't bother)
  43. Advertise Your App ($) Advertise your YouTube video channel on YouTube
  44. E-Mail Signature Every chance to talk with your users is a chance to tell them something they might not know.
  45. E-Mail Newsletter - Only if the user opts-in - Might be good for some apps, maybe not for games
  46. QR Code - 2D Barcode scanned by iPhone & Android - URL to web site or market - Takes user right to it - Efficacy info in URL - Dedicated app biz card, on web site...
  47. E-mail Auto-Responder - Corporate app? - Links in outgoing emails for support, etc. - “Here are other apps...”
  48. Getting Paid (Monetization) - If you're in it for a hobby, don't bother - If it's a business, your monetization strategy should be part of your app design
  49. What's the Right Price? - Test, tweak, test - Test the business model, not the product - Start low, move higher – slowly [6] With apps, easier to raise price than lower - Price must be low enough, but no lower
  50. What's the Right Price - People must be willing to pay for it - Your intuition is likely wrong, you must test - Remember: 10 sales @ $.99 = 5 @ $1.99
  51. Freemium – Lite & Full Apps - Lite version – free – restricted from Full - Full version – $ – has everything and NO ads! - Just getting rid of ads is not compelling reason to buy Full version
  52. Freemium – Lite & Full Apps - Users don't pay for features, they pay for the value those features provide (USP) - Lite/Free version can limit Capacity (levels, play time) and/or Features (global leaderboards) - Observation: Users don't like time- restricted apps (trials)
  53. Freemium – Lite & Full Apps User Roles in the Free version: - Understand functionality - Invite others - Data participation (encourages others) - Can be indirect revenue from Free (cross-promo, socialization, ...)
  54. Freemium – Lite & Full Apps - Not everyone will buy – That's ok. - Conversion rate: 3-5% depending on $ [6] - My observation: 6.5% ($2.99) – 8% ($.99) - It's a numbers game: Your goal is to push the free version, not the paid version
  55. Freemium – Lite & Full Apps - Conversion from Lite to Full is Hard for user - Download lite, decide, purchase full, download full, delete lite - Would be better to have one unlockable version with in-app purchase
  56. Freemium – Lite & Full Apps - Lite app needs prominent “Buy Full” option - It's ok to ask at various points in the flow - Make sure to explain the value, then ask to buy - Unique Lite & Full icons and titles
  57. Freemium - There's a acquisition cost for both Free and Paid users - You should know both - You should capitalize on an acquired user - Don't just sell to the user once - Don't make the user think hard
  58. Freemium – Other Options - Free-only app with in-app purchases (buy features) - Possible & Easier on iOS - Possible on Android (PayPal has SDK) Might violate dev agreement
  59. Freemium – Ads - Free-only, or Lite with Ads & Full - Google AFMA, AdMob, MobClix, iAds … - Try AdWhirl (AdMob, open-source) - Test, tweak, test
  60. Freemium – Ads
  61. Freemium – Ads - Ads worked great 4Q 2009 and 1Q 2010 - Have since been underwhelming - Easy to add, but don't make it your only monetizing strategy
  62. Freemium – Player Challenges - Social Gaming like Scoreloop allow paid challenges - Sketchy
  63. Freemium – Loss-Leader - Make a full-featured, useful, free-only app - Maybe even no ads - Promote your other apps in it – low-key - If your company sells other things, Free app can drive those sales
  64. Is it Working? - Measuring - Analytics is a MUST - You must know more than who - How often - User retention - Session length (engagement) - Every second of use is a second for user to refer to someone else
  65. Analytics - Also track feature usage - Button clicks - Time in game, section - My games: “Is it too difficult?” Score trends, levels reached, ...
  66. Analytics Analytics SDKs for iOS and Android: - Flurry - Google Analytics - Both are very similar - Tried both and now back to Flurry - Google Analytics' Android SDK has issues
  67. Analytics
  68. Analytics
  69. Measuring – Download Stats - Android Market Developer Console - Currently limited – have to manually track - Google Checkout – track detailed sales for Paid only - iOS? iTunes download counts
  70. Monitoring - Google Alerts – setup canned searches. RSS or e-mail feed - Twitter mentions (HootSuite can help) - Watch Twitter #Andriod #iOS #iPhone #app #game
  71. Measuring – Get Feedback - In-app feedback (email) feature - App Store/Market Review Comments - Get a thick skin - Your app won't be right for everyone - Most important: Listen and evaluate
  72. That's all there is to it! Contact Me: Get: Talk: Follow: @SyriousGames Like: Watch:
  73. Mentioned [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] (Great panel video!) Android Market Resources Mentioned: Get: Talk: Follow: @SyriousGames Like: Watch:
  74. Interesting Links App Store Stats: Android Market stats Android vs iPhone / Smartphone marketshare,story:android_tops_blackberry_ios_in_smartphone_sales_for_first_time Software Marketing Now Android Eating Away: Scoreloop/OpenFeint/Ngmoco: There’s a bubble? Interesting market analysis (esp page 19) (page 13)
  75. Interesting Links - 2 (stats - older) Monitor with Google Alerts Returning to the Purpose of the Original Game - - Look at free/paid downloads. esp <50. - Gaming Upstarts article: “freemium" goods -- free products that upcharge for optional upgrades on the back-end -- is designing every user action with monetization in mind from the beginning.; “understandable at a glance”; “it's essential for small companies to produce multiple products, seize opportunities for exposure and build ways to connect directly with customers. For Appy, it's all about building a running dialogue with fans,”; “Pangea's most effective publicity tactic has simply been text announcements within its current games “ “Most settle at $1.99, but WordWise, a game he invented, draws about 40% more downloads a day at 99 cents than at $1.99.” -- From a revenue standpoint, this is a strange statement - $.99 * 1.4 < $1.99 - he’s losing 30% revenue. However, he is building download count, which helps in positioning. But don’t target positioning by dropping price - you’ll get there by other means. “We're just finding that, with paid, you can't make any money. There's only a handful of companies that are able to charge more than three dollars for a game. Gameloft, EA, Square Enix.” : Freemium Talk: “...charging money once, largely once, for that single transaction in the paid space just wasn't gonna get us to the level of scale” From Google I/O Freemium panel (
  76. Interesting Books Best Android Apps Best iPhone Apps The Social Media Marketing 2.0 Marketing Book