Some of the key trends observed during the MMF:
Mobile is becoming a key part of the marketing mix – Companies like Kodak and MGM Grand shared their experiences in Mobile. While there is still a lot of experimentation going on the reality is that more and more established brands are using mobile as a key part of their marketing. This is a trend that will grow and continue in the future.
Mobile advertising is growing – Click-through-rates on mobile ads are higher than online (although we have yet to observe how sustainable they are). Mobile advertising is beginning to show a track record of results – both on click-through and in leading to purchase.
There are still lots of barriers for mobile going mainstream – Issues with carriers and screen size are the greatest barriers facing the industry. The fragmentation of mobile is not unlike the early days of the internet – as devices and carriers continue to create standards mobile will become an easier platform for marketers to play in.
Location is the key opportunity – The opportunity to target people based on location is the biggest opportunity for marketers in mobile. MGM grand shared an example of targeting people as they drive to Las Vegas with discount codes for the hotel. They also have the opportunity to target people when they are physically in the hotel – providing discount codes and deals to keep people in the hotel longer. By knowing the location of the phone SMS campaigns can be directly targeted.
The iphone is over-hyped – The iphone gets a lot of publicity and buzz, but in reality it is a really small fragment of the total mobile market. SMS and display based ads provide broader reach and follow the “no phone left behind” policy. The iphone market is still small, yet it gets a disproportionate amount of attention from advertisers.
SMS campaigns have potential – There is a lot of potential with SMS campaigns and a number of companies have shown real success with them. The key to a good SMS campaign is to integrate it into the rest of your marketing campaign; highlight the shortcode across other forms of advertising. SMS is also highly measurable, so the results can be tracked and campaigns modified over time.
Apps face challenges – While apps get a lot of hype there are a number of challenges in launching a successful app. There are now over 50k apps in the iphone store (and growing) and discovery of apps becoming an issue. There are not a lot of brands that have had success with iphone apps.
Compare these amounts with the average price for iPhone paid apps of $2.52 and we see that these are all priced higher than average. We can assume that being seleted an Apple Design Award winner shows that these are all ‘Quality’ applications. Being that they are quality applications, how has that affected sales even though these apps are priced higher than the average? Well, quality does equal success in all 5 cases.
Looking at current app rankings, ALL of these apps appear in the coveted top 100 ranking for at least their category in one measured region (as defined by Apple). Here is a highlight:
The analysis of these 5 quality apps shows that quality apps can garner a higher price and be very successful.
There you have it, congratulations to the winners, and to those of you working on the next great app idea, remember that quality = $$s.]]>
The enterprise readiness concerns from 2007/2008 have been allayed with a host of new security features and the Push syncing introduced with the 2.1 software updates. One analyst at Forrester thinks the iPhone is as good an option if not better than Blackberry for enterprises and talks about how companies like Kraft and Oracle support the iPhone. IBM Lotus Notes, which is often billed as a much more business oriented mail/collaboration tool, now supports push syncing with the iPhone. So the basic tools are there and the audience is growing. Why are only 2% of the apps business apps?
If you are an independent developer, here is a good niche to look into. If your are a provider of software for businesses (especially software as a service apps) then you should consider extending your footprint to support mobile iPhone users.
If you already have a good business app on the blackberry, consider porting your app to the iPhone. Here’s why: 32% of Blackberry users have NEVER downloaded an application, and only 21% have downloaded more than 5. Compare that with 80% of the 30+ million Iphone/iPod touch users that have downloaded more than 5 apps.
If you need help with the the strategy and marketing around your mobile applications we are always here to help.]]>
In this crowded market, people always ask us “What is the number one way to jumpstart our sales?” Like most marketing answers, there is no simple ’silver bullet’ solution. That being said, we have found ONE sure fire way to increase app sales and jump into those coveted top 100 spots.
Get featured on an Applie iPhone commercial!
According to the few lucky developers that have had this happen, getting featured on an Apple iPhone commercial is second to nothing else. In a good article recently in the New York Times, they describe how Mitchell White’s iBird application went from an average app to number 1 in the reference category after being shown for less than 7 seconds in an iPhone commercial.
Unfortunately, it seems there is no secret or magic formula for getting your app into a commercial. The best way to make it happen is to build a great app that resonates with a solid target audience. So while getting featured in a commercial is key, at the end of the day you need to build and market a great app first. That is a more attainable goal. All the basic app development rules apply.
All these things will ensure you have a good quality app that just might become noticed by the Apple iPhone Marketing team. According to our understanding, the iPhone App marketing team goes solely by what apps they think will resonate with the target audience they are going after. As the article says, they are very democratic about the process, whether you are one developer or a company with one hundred developers. If Apple is looking to create a general commercial played on prime time network TV, wide reaching apps are going to fit the bill, if it is a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal then business apps are going to get the focus.
So, if you want a simple answer for how to jumpstart your iPhone app downloads, our answer is “try to get your app in an iPhone commercial”. Of course, if you don’t then at least you will have taken 6 solid steps to building the best possible app for your target market.]]>
Owen indicates in the interview what we hear all the time. Building a quick proof of concept iPhone application isn’t that hard. But building a polished, usable iPhone application takes a lot more effort. Owen estimated he had a proof of concept in weeks but it took almost 6 months to produce the final polished application.
We concur, in fact, we argue that not all programming backgrounds are well suited to develop iPhone applications. In our work, we have found that former game designers/developers have an easier time producing a quality, fun to use iPhone app than former web focused developers.
Owen also indicates that he got a lot of feedback after his release that caused him to change the gameplay a bit. He also feels that his game is not ‘pick it up and start playing’ usable by the average consumer. There was also no built in incentive for players to drive word of mouth, like community oriented high scores, invite a friend, etc. Owen indicates that he is working on a new game that he feels is better designed for the iPhone market.
Note the distinction, Dapple, his current game, is by all means a decent game. What Owen has realized though is that his game might not be the best fit for the average iPhone market. When going for volume, you need to understand the average market and design an application that will be exciting, yet can be used quickly. He is now considering the market and how to encourage word of mouth into his next application.
As we tell our clients: The best time to think about marketing your application is when you are first imagining your application.
This one may be obvious to many mobile app developers these days, but it bears repeating. Most people know that basics like getting app to review sites, video walkthrus, press releases, and more need to be wrapped up well before the iTunes launch.
Owen indicates that as he was getting close to releasing the application, he was so focused on bug fixing and last minute tweaks that he didn’t have time to properly execute a good launch. So even though people know they need to do marketing activities before launch, most don’t have the time to give it the proper focus.
With the volume of iPhone apps being approved every day, most iPhone applications that are released only get listed on the new and noteworthy page for minutes to a couple hours. The launch time is critical.
There is a lot more in the podcast - Give it a listen!
We wanted to call out the 3 points above as we see it often with mobile application developers. While Bootcamp Mobile can help you after your product has been released, Owen’s story shows that you should think about working with us as early into the product design as you can. There are close to 40,000 mobile applications in the iPhone store. Without successful mobile app marketing, how do you expect to standout?]]>
A look at the top iphone apps underscores that iphone usage is primarily personal vs. Blackberry usage, which is primarily business related. Games, social networks and entertainment make up the bulk of the downloads, with the remainder being entertainment related
Top 25 Apps by Penetration of Apple App Users February 2009 Total U.S. - Home/Work/University Locations Source: comScore Apple App Store Report Penetration Of Application Installs Category Developer Tap Tap Revenge 32% Games Tapulous, Inc. Backgrounds 27% Entertainment Stylem Media Touch Hockey: FS5 26% Games FlipSide5, Inc. Facebook 26% Social Networking Facebook, Inc. Pac-Man 24% Games Namco iBowl 24% Games SGN MySpace Mobile 23% Social Networking MySpace.com Google Earth 22% Travel Google Inc. Labyrinth 22% Games Codify AB Pandora 21% Music Pandora Media, Inc. AIM 19% Social Networking AOL Flashlight 19% Utilities John Haney Virtual Zippo Lighter 18% Lifestyle Moderati Inc. and Zippo Manufacturing Co. Movies 18% News Flixster Hangman 18% Games Jamsoft Bubblewrap 18% Entertainment Orsome Software Ltd. Lightsaber Unleashed 17% Entertainment Lucasfilm Ltd Shazam 17% Music Shazam Entertainment Ltd. Mazefinger 16% Games ngmoco Cube Runner 16% Games Andy Qua Sol Solitaire 15% Games Smallware LLC Crazy Penguin Catapult 15% Games Digital Chocolate Inc. Topple 15% Games ngmoco Sudoku 14% Games Mighty Mighty Good Games Remote 13% Entertainment Apple]]>
Source - AdAge]]>
The course can be found on the Stanford University itunes site. Whether you are already programming or a looking to refresh your skills this course can be a great resource.
With over 25,000 apps that have been downloaded over 800 million times there is fierce competition for apps.
Check out this great resource - if you have already used it let us know what you think
Wired recently wrote about app developers who went “from rags to riches” with their apps. Take, for example, Steve Demeter - the app poster boy. His wildly popular game Trism sells for $5 (a really high price point for the app store) and it is estimated that he’ll make over $2 million from his app by July. Steve has been featured in a video by Apple, and on CNN and a number of other news sites. He built the app himself with some help from a friend and a designer (who he paid $500).
In a sense, the App Store, despite its corporate ties, has created an open market where developers can strike it rich with minimal resources — even out of a garage — so long as they possess the talent and the time. - Wired
What is the secret to Trism success? According to Demeter:
We’d also add a few things:
What do you think makes an app successful?
Neil Young, CEO of Ngmoco told Venture Beat that “Ngmoco generates more than half of its revenue from outside the U.S.”
“In 2009, mobile platforms will be a major battleground as the associated user experience and role of the ecosystem grow in importance.”