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How to best market your App

How to best market your App

By Ben Cusack, Group Marketing Director, Mobile Interactive Group.

The mobile industry has been revolutionised by the consumer uptake of smartphones and in particular Apple’s iPhone.  Coupled with flat rate date tariffs from mobile operators that enable ‘all you can eat’ mobile internet access the mobile landscape has radically changed.

As a result, consumers are searching for a more interactive and engaging experience that harnesses features such as GPS, compass, better cameras, video and full internet access, of the new breed of smartphones.  

The combination of these facts has accelerated the mass adoption and acceptance of mobile and applications as a key media engagement channel.

Everybody wants a piece of App action.  Agencies are encouraging their clients to commission mobile Apps and brands from all sectors including retail, entertainment, publishers, broadcasters and more increasingly want one.

Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) apply over 20 techniques to drive downloads that generate high positions in the app store and help market your app.  Here a just a few...  

Some industry background...
•    Apple’s App store has clocked up 10bn downloads
•    Apple purchased Quattro Wireless for an estimated $275 million in January 2010
•    Google purchased Admob for an estimated $750 million in November 2009
•    Google Android Market store increased by 70% from Jan > March 2010, to 38,000
•    Nokia Ovi Store is generating over 1.6 million downloads a day and growing exponentially

PR – Communicate, communicate, communicate...

Understand your audience and execute a communications plan that dovetails both key industry trade publications and the consumer press to reach your target audience.  It is essential to clearly convey key messages about how unique your App is, why you’ve launched it, how it benefits your consumer and why it should feature in their daily media consumption. 

The end result of this outreach is to raise awareness, generate positive word of mouth and to drive downloads of your App. 

Social Media

Use social media to amplify the noise surrounding your App announcement – There are plenty of platforms out there to help you do this, in particular Twitter and Facebook.  Fan pages for example are a great way to engage an audience and create positive discussion around your App.  Moreover, build your app so it can be integrated with selected social media platforms to extend its reach and awareness.

Mobile Advertising

Mobile advertising agencies can help both market and monetise your App, particularly those that stand out as premium advertising networks such as 4th Screen Advertising.  These deliver optimum ROI and maximise the spend with key mobile publishers, ensuring that you reach the right audience by utilising various targeting techniques including time of day, gender, age, handset type and operator and other behavioural parameters such as taste in music or location. 

Rich media mobile advertising formats are now readily available through application sponsorships, interstitials, dynamic ad insertion and the expandable banner format, iSlide (currently being used with great effect by music discovery service, Shazam).  iSlide maximises standard smartphone features such as touch to call, touch to app, touch to video, touch to locate and touch to AR (Augmented Reality) which displays the brand’s closest outlets for example.

Also make sure you select the rich ad serving platform which provides full campaign stats and reporting.

Broadcast and Media Promotion

Other marketing channels include broadcast media such as Internet, Radio and TV.  Recently Britain’s Got Talent launched an App for iPhone and iPod touch users. Why?  To enable fans of one of the UK’s favourite participation TV shows to engage with and share content on the go - 24/7.

The Britain’s Got Talent App is promoted every time the show in on air, both during the show and on break bumpers with a clear ‘CALL TO ACTION’ for sofa browsers using an iPhone or iPod Touch to download the free App.  In the first four days the app was downloaded over 200,000 times, reached No.1 in the Apps Store and was ranked as the No.1 Entertainment App.  With content being refreshed on a weekly basis this figure is set to multiply throughout the duration of the show.

Think Big

It’s not just about the iPhone – Think about Ovi, Android, Blackberry, HTC and other new devices entering the market.  You have to think about a strategy that reaches all your consumers.  Apps are an international distribution channel and one where you can make a huge impact.

In summary

The App market is growing at an exceptional rate and will continue to do so over the coming months and of course there are many more ways to market your app.  Remember utility based Apps have a longer life cycle as they are accessed repeatedly on a daily/weekly basis, they offer more value and make a consumer’s life easier by providing information on demand at any time of day and at their fingertips.  

When compiling your mobile App strategy you may wish to think about the following...
•    Why does your brand need an App?
•    What consumer issues is it going to address?
•    What content will it offer your consumer that isn’t available via other channels?
•    How will it embellish your consumer’s daily life and what extra value will it provide?
•    Which mobile agency will best understand my consumer’s needs?

There are many more touchpoints to consider and if you’d like to know more contact Ben Cusack, Group Marketing Director, Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) on

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