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Post de autor convidado, "8 tips for app success!"

  • Blog
  • 5 de Junho de 2013

Hoje, temos o prazer de publicar um post sobre marketing mobile escrito por Diego Meller e Joana Picq, sócios da JAMPP.

introdução e contexto de negócio

Ao longo da trajetória de aprendizado de que emergiu a abordagem de lean innovation, os times entenderam a dura realidade da importância central de marketing digital no sucesso do desenvolvimento de produtos.

Posteriormente, surgiram as diferentes nuances entre marketing digital web e marketing digital mobile e, atualmente, marketing em ambiente omni canal.

Essa grande reflexão gerou uma série de aproximações estratégicas e parcerias formais com empresas como GOOG, FB, LKDN, Kissmetrics, crazyegg, Flurry, AdX, MailChimp, Zendesk e, mais recentemente, JAMPP.

A JAMPP é uma plataforma de marketing mobile com foco em distribuição de aplicativos que permite que utilizemos uma estratégia de “pay per install”, a risco, onde eles concentram mais de 80 canais (incluindo AdNetworks e Publishers, entre outros) e otimizam junto conosco o processo de aquisição de clientes mobile para os projetos da Concrete.

Diego & Joana, bem-vindos!

8 tips for app success!

by Diego Meller & Joana Picq

The way we interact with the web has changed radically in the last few years. Not so long ago, in a galaxy around the corner, our phones were really really dumb. They were devices that only let you make (and take) phone calls. Literally. The way we wasted time checking out MySpace, or Yahoo! or Friendster or whatever people were doing then with the Internet, was completely different. It was by staring at full sized computers.

But that has all changed with smartphones. They’re like phones but way smarter mostly because they let you do everything your computer does and even more (like take great photos and have a GPS and a flashlight when you can’t find the key you just dropped on the street).

According to this excellent presentation about the rise of mobile, smartphones are outselling PCs (both consumer and corporate) by over 3X and this growth will only continue.

In some places of the developing world, smartphones are people’s first experience with the web and overall it’s such a better experience. Contrary to computers, mobile phones follow you everywhere, are personal devices (as opposed to shared) and fit in your pocket (unless you have a Samung Galaxy Mega, in which case you need a backpack more than a pocket).

In Latin America for example, over 50% of Internet users already have smartphones and only in Brazil there are over 50 million of the devices.

Thanks to this, another great thing happened. Many times, it’s much easier to use an app instead of going to a website. Apps are specially designed and built for phones, which means they have less clutter, less buttons, less features and are optimized for a smaller screen. In contrast, many websites still look awkward or simply bad on smartphones. Also, most of the interface of the service you are using is already loaded in the app which means you don’t have to wait for the whole thing to download every time. Unfortunately mobile data speeds are still problematic in most places, which is why any advantage in performance (similar to what apps provide) is always welcome.

So if we combine all of the above with a few spectacular successes in the world of apps (Angry Birds, Instagram and CandyCrush more recently) and the widespread publicity these have awakened, it’s understandable that there is an app “gold rush” going on.

Amazingly, there are over 1.5 million applications between iOS and Android. Just as a comparison, a large physical bookstore has a catalogue of between 150,000 and 200,000 books. And that’s everything from The Bible to 50 Shades of Grey (I just won a bet by using those two in the same phrase).

Those of you who have been of legal drinking age for a while will remember the early late 90s when everybody had an idea for a “dot com”, well it seems now everybody has an idea for an app. The difference is that back then it took a few million dollars to actually setup an Internet business whilst now it only takes a few thousand dollars to develop an app. Also, if you do a few things right you can actually make money too! Last February, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said that iPhone/iPad app developers generated more than $8 billion in revenues since the platform was launched. That’s more than enough (for even my mother) to have app ideas.

So, what is the secret formula to succeed in the app economy? If I really knew the answer to that… I’d keep it all to myself and build the next Instagram but it’s not that simple.

It is possible though, to follow a few guidelines that will increase your odds of succeeding.

The first thing to understand is that a good idea is not enough to create a winning app. It’s important to understand the dynamics of the app stores and how apps work and build it around this.

Around 90% of app installs are generated by only 10% of the apps, that means that the odds are heavily against you when it comes to people discovering your new app. That’s why when you come up with an app idea, on top of the app having to be useful or fun or innovative you also have to think of or build in a marketing/distribution plan from the beginning.

The most common mistake when launching an app is spending 100% of the budget in its development and start thinking about how to promote it once the app is live. Most of the times, it doesn’t matter how good or original the app is, it’s VERY likely only a few people will discover it and install it.

If you take the iTunes App Store for example, it is still useful to be featured by them (this being a completely subjective, random and unlikely prospect to the average developer) and most importantly show high in the app rankings. Most people look for their apps there. The way Apple calculates what apps are shown there is related to the velocity in which apps are installed. That means you need to generate a lot of installs in a short amount of time. In most cases, it’s very hard to achieve this without some sort of exogenous help (advertising, press, planet alignment, etc.). Being in the rankings, definitely guarantees a burst of installs for a few days or weeks but it doesn’t guarantee success.

Another myth is that the way people make money with apps is because “people pay them”. In-app purchases are now the majority of app revenue and the trend will continue to grow. In a report published in March 2013 by analytics company Distimo, we learnt that 71 % of app store revenues in february were generated by in-app purchases.

So, if you are like me, you have completely ignored everything I’ve written above and skipped straight to the “list”. Here are the recommendations to increase your app success chances!

1. A good product (duh!): Yes, seems obvious but the app stores are full of horrible apps. It’s important that the app is original (or improves on another app) or solves a problem or entertains. It has to be well designed, both in terms of how it looks and its user experience (UX). Everything that follows will be easier if the app is good. Something to keep in mind: The best apps only do “one thing” but they do that thing very very well.

2. Built In Virality: Try to incorporate some viral mechanism into the core functionality of the app, that way each user that uses and enjoys the app will potentially attract new users. In Instagram for example, the experience of looking at other people’s photos was much better with the app.

3. Free is better: The difference between zero and $0.99 is GIGANTIC when someone is evaluating installing an app. You will increase exponentially the odds of someone giving your app a try if it’s free, you can always monetize with in-app purchases.

4. Don’t forget Android: For most of us, our first experiences with a smartphone and the apps ecosystem was through an iPhone but it’s very important to understand that Android is now the dominant platform with over 50% market share in most markets. You can start withiPhone but if you want your app to be huge, you need to incorporate Android into the roadmap.

5. Marketing is as important as development. It’s important to budget for app promotion. If the app is free and has viral elements then it’s essential to attract a first batch of users to test metrics and understand what is the real value of each user to then continue with more systematic campaigns.

6. App Marketing is complicated, leave it to experts: In contrast to what happens on web, mobile traffic and marketing providers are highly fragmented and it’s also very challenging to measure accurately what you are buying. We recommend paying CPI (Cost per Install) only and to make sure that a healthy share of what you buy is not incentivised.

7. Track and measure EVERYTHING: We recommend using tracking tools to both measure what happens inside the app (what are people clicking and using) as well as where you are getting your traffic from and which sources bring better users.

8. Rankings are more accessible in small markets: We all want our app to be in the Top 10 of the US market but sometimes it’s easier to start in smaller markets like Latin America or some Asian countries.The volume of installs you need in the US to be on the Top 25 is about 30 times higher than what you need in a country like Mexico. The CPIs are also cheaper.