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App Marketing: the crucial line item too many app developers miss

Mobile Phones And Abercrombie

The Roadshow’s four stops include: Seattle (March 24), Vancouver (March 25), Toronto (April 1), and Montreal (April 2). Get all the info here. 


You’re developing what you hope will be a killer utility app or mobile game, you’re past proof of concept, you’re gotten some serious investment dollars, tested, tested, and retested, and are ready to launch. The one thing you may have overlooked? How you’re going to market the damn thing.

According to Gary Yentin, CEO and Founder of App Promo in Toronto, more often than not, developers are rushing to launch without a marketing plan in place and the budget to fund it. “I’m still amazed six years later [after the App Store launched], that people don’t put a line item in for marketing,” he says. He says that even seasoned VCs overlook it and instead get too fixated on the technology.

Of course, in order to market intelligently, you need the right analytics. You need to know who your users are and what they’re doing. But according to Yentin, many developers haven’t even put the right SDKs in place for tools such as Flurry or Google analytics, or any of the other mobile measurement platforms. “You can advise them to do it but sometimes they just don’t have the time,” he says. “They’ve set a launch date and that means they would have to go back and re-submit to the store.” No app developer wants to do that.

Even for those who have planned to capture data out of the starting gate, there are issues to solve. While there are a number of valuable analytics tools that can provide vast amounts of data, Yentin says that all too often, most developers are just too busy and overwhelmed with making things look good and work right to make good use of them.

“Developers are always super-rushed and have limited resources, and to be honest, a lot of them don’t know how to understand and interpret the data,” says Yentin. “It’s kind of a catch 22; you can put the KPIs out there but then you have to understand how to use and understand those KPIs.”

He’s contrasting this to giants like EA, Disney, or King, that have specific teams of up to 50 people dedicated to analytics. For mid-size and smaller developers, this just isn’t realistic, and for Yentin, it’s essential at the start for these mid-range players to build in an internal resource to monitor and interpret analytics, or outsource if that’s not possible.

Collecting data over time is important, but the first week after install is most critical, says Yentin. A lot of players won’t return after that first week, so it’s an essential time frame in which to get the most important data: what time of day users open the app, how often they come in and out, how much time they spend, how they interact with the app and its functions. Learning why people leave is as important as why they stay.

Developers also make the mistake of failing to determine exactly who their user is. He provides the example of a gaming client who had exclusively targeted males 18 to 24. All the creative in the game and all the advertising were aimed at this audience. But when the developers started to look into the demographics, they saw that they had a 30 percent uptick of females. “That was something they never dreamed about,” says Yentin. “Here they’re creating for one group, and then find out they have a completely different sex playing the game. That’s kind of significant when you think about how you’re going to go about acquiring users.”

But before developers find themselves in a similar situation doing a quick correction by targeting a percentage of advertising spend at gossip sites and fashion publications (yes, a terrible, awful stereotype, but it makes the point), developers can feel out their audience ahead of time. Yentin says it helps to get your app on a test flight. For smaller developers that can mean something as simple as using a meet-up group in your local city which can provide invaluable information and data. “A lot of people do all this research and great planning on the product side without considering the audience in terms of what that audience will actually do,” he says.

Being in Canada, he often sees another route to early learnings. “We see a lot people do their MVP [Minimum Viable Product] launches in Canada because it’s very similar to the U.S. market,” he explains. “Once they see what resonates with the audience, and tweak it, then they hit the big time.”

Ninety percent of App Promo’s business actually comes from outside Canada, from places as diverse as China, Japan, Russia, Europe, and Mexico. “It turns out, we’re a very good testing ground!”

 

Written by , @VentureBeat

 

@VentureBeat Mobile Developer Roadshow – Toronto, Ontario

venture Beat road showVB’s Mobile Developer Roadshow is coming to Toronto!

@VentureBeat is  hosting an invite-only roadshow on April 1, 2015 in Toronto to reveal the latest trends and case studies in mobile acquisition and monetization.

The Event

This event, geared towards mobile professionals including developers, product marketers and business development professionals, will be a focused, single-track discussion tied to VB Insight’s research on mobile user acquisition and monetization.

All attendees will learn the very best mobile app acquisition and monetization strategies, network with leading industry peers and also receive complimentary copies of the VB Mobile Games Monetization Report ($499 value) and the VB Mobile User Acquisition Report ($499 value).

Details

This event is free and is invite-only to guarantee the absolute highest quality of attendees.

Business casual attire is requested.

Speakers

John Koetsier
VP, ResearchVentureBeat
Ian Atkinson
VP Business Development
AdColony
Michael Sikorsky
CEO
Robots and Pencils
Albert LaiZ
Co-Founder / CEO
Big Viking Games
CEO and Founder
App-Promo

Client Case History : Sobrr

Sober  Life in the Moment

Sobrr Inc. sees great success in China- An @Apppromo Case History

@Appromo is pleased to share with the press our client – Sobrr ‘s recent success in China as penned by Bruce Yang, CEO of Sobrr Inc.

Our recent launch in China presented the Sobrr team with a huge challenge:  How to attract the attention of our target audience — high school and college users – in the increasingly fragmented China marketplace.

In the U.S., YouTube stars like Pewdiepie, Jenna Marbles, Bethany Mota and Michelle Phan regularly collaborate with brands.  But in China, while influencer marketing is important, it can be a perilous endeavor.  China’s Weibo (a micro-blogging platform similar to Twitter) is filled with so-called influencers with thousands of “fake” or “zombie fans,” so in order to create introduce Sobrr authentically, our team had to do their homework.

On November 7th, a single “tweet” from Weibo’s VIT named App Bacteria (App菌) evidently resonated.  Thousands of Weibo users instantly downloaded our fledgling app  – and engagement went through the roof.  The VIT in China not only checked out the app but created an amazing micro-blog ‘story’ about her experience on Sobrr, featuring a series of great images.

Since then, thousands of new users have continued to come onboard on a daily basis.

Over the last three weeks, the app has acquired close to 60,000 users in China, with daily active engagement consistently in the 10,000 range.

This momentum has catapulted Sobrr to become one of China’s most-popular apps in the social category.  This is all the more impressive when we consider the app is limited to iOS-only  (a small portion 17.3% of the China market), and was developed outside the country.   If the current growth rate continues, Sobrr will be positioned to challenge Instagram or Facebook as the favorite made-in-US social app in China next year.

We are thilled to see Chinese users respond to the freedom Sobrr offers, with no need to stress over social sharing since all posts expire every 24 hours — just long enough to make an impression that may lead to a new friendship.  The general trend is that women prefer to post “vibings”  (photos), while men prefer to comment.  It’s a good combination.

About Sobrr
Available for iOS and Android, Sobrr is the first app to introduce the concept of 24-hour friendship. In real life, people socialize, but only become friends with whom they like. Sobrr returns this control back to the user. Everything on Sobrr expires in 24 hours, including photos, messages, and, even, friends (unless you really, really like them).
Founded in 2014, Sobrr Inc. is a team of Silicon Valley veterans and UC Berkeley
students and alumni lead by Co-Founders Bruce Yang, formerly of LinkedIn and Fitbit, and former Microsoft employee Vivian Xu.Sobrr was recently awarded “Most Innovative App” by the Silicon Valley Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurs Forum.

Download the iOS version:                        http://www.bit.ly/sobrriOS
Download the Android version:                 http://www.bit.ly/sobrrAndroid

– See more at: http://app-promo.com/clients/case-history-sobrr-inc/#sthash.j3iTQrxq.dpuf

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