BootCampDigital had the opportunity to attend the Mobile Marketing Forum in NY. Put on by the MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) this is one of the leading events for those in the Mobile Marketing industry.
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.
The 2009 Apple Design Awards were announced recently. It is interesting to note that all the iPhone winners were ‘paid’ applications. Here is the breakdown
- MLB.com At Bat 2009 - $9.99
- Postage - $2.99
- Topple 2 - $2.99
- Tweetie - $2.99
- Wooden Labyrinth 3d (best iPhone Student App) - $3.99
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:
- MLB.com At Bat 2009 - $9.99 - the most expensive app in the list, is the number 1 sports app in the USA and the number 79 ranked app against ALL paid apps. Very impressive numbers. Hopefully those dollars are supporting the production of the great video and streaming audio that comes along with all the other geat features of this app.
- Postage - $2.99 - out of all the photography apps, this cool electronic postcard app is ranked 33 in the US, 25 in the UK, and it is interesting to note that it is 45 in France and 9 in Germany and it only supports English language right now.
- Topple 2 - $2.99 - following up on the great success of Topple, Topple 2 is currently the #98 game in Canada and it was only released in late March.
- Tweetie - $2.99 - This great iPhone Twitter client (and the one I personally use) is the number 1 or 2 social networking app in US, Australia, Germany, UK, and Canada and in the top 70 of ALL paid apps.
- Wooden Labyrinth 3d (best iPhone Student App) - $3.99 - This app created by Finish student, Elias Pietilä, entered into a crowded genre of Labyrinth games, but the quality use of OpenGL truly gives the game a 3D feel. This plus an available level editor (with over 100+ user generated levels contributed so far) has pushed his product into the top 100 games in Germany and Italy and it has almost bumped into the top 100 games in the US. The free version is in the top 50 games in most regions.
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 iPhone app store has over 50,000 applications available. Out of these 50,000 applications, just over 2% are in the business category. BUT, more and more corporate employees (led by the management at the top who are forcing IT to support the iPhone because they want one) are using iPhones.
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.
Comscore released a list of the top 25 apps and their market penetration (ie. what % of iphone owners have downloaded them). Surprisingly, over 1/3 of iphone users have downloaded TapTap Revenge. Games are proving to be the most popular download for iphone users - surpassing even social network app downloads.
Popularity of Categories
- Almost 50% of the top apps are games (12 out of 25)
- Entertainment is the next most popular category (4/25 top apps)
- Social Networking is third most popular (3/25 top apps)
Social Networking Popularity
- 26% have downloaded facebook followed by 23% for myspace and 19% for aim
- Twitter apps do not appear on the list - potentially because there are a number of apps for twitter (whereas myspace and facebook have an official app).
- Iphone users are 3 times more likely than average to visit social/communication/ entertainment sites including: AOL IM, Hulu, Twitter.com, Digg.com, iMeem and MTV.com
Iphone Usage is Largely Personal, Not Business
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
The Comscore Top 25 List
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
We all know that the iphone app market has been growing like crazy since it launched…. We want to help keep you up to date on the amazing growth of the app store…. Here are some quick #s to keep you up to speed on the growth of the market:
- The app store has been open for just over 9 months.
- There have been over 1 billion apps served.
- There are over 30 million devices sold (between the iphone and itouch).
- There are over 35,000 apps available on the itunes store.
- The average iphone user downloads over 20 apps (some say more than 40)
- In the first month there was over $30 million transacted on the app store.
- The app store is growing quicker than itunes.
- Number of app users is growing at about 10% per month - Comscore
Gartner Research recently released Q4 and 2008 global market share reports for smartphones, both by device and by operating system. The results might surprise you. Especially when you see who is and isn’t growing.
WorldWide Device Sales
- RIM Blackberry continues extremely strong growth.
- Nokia is is sharp decline.
- HTC continues to have strong growth
WorldWide Operating System Growth
- Symbian is declining quickly due to pressure from new platforms and the decline of Nokia (which uses the Symbian OS). Share is down to 47 % from 62% in 2007.
- RIM continues to grow, now at 20% of market vs. 11% in 2007
- Android smartphones are estimated to account for 20% of all Linux OS sales, making the Android OS a relatively small global player. Linux sales are growing quickly (up 19%) primarily driven by Anroid-based smartphones sold through T-Mobile.
- Microsoft Mobile is growing driven by popularity of the Samsung Omnia and HTC touchscreen products.
One of the key issues with fragmentation in the smartphone Operating System market is that it creates issues for app developers. Currently different versions of apps need to be created for each OS - companies aren’t going to hire hundreds of programmers to program each OS. ZDNET predicts that Android and Windows Mobile are likely to get pushed out of the picture.
That doesn’t mean it’s time to count other platforms out. Andrew Lacy, chief executive of Tapulous, said he expects the Google Android, Palm Pre, Nokia, Windows Mobile and RIM BlackBerry platforms are all likely to see good growth in the coming year as smart phones replace older phones at a fast clip. But Lacy said it will become much tougher to support other programs if it means hiring a couple of hundred programmers to adapt games to run on all of the other platforms. - Venture Beat