We here at AppLink.io like to stay on the leading edge of mobile marketing. To do so, we decided to survey just over 300 mobile marketers and get their opinion on what they are seeing in the mobile marketing space today. Our survey consisted of multiple choice questions, ranking questions and open response and provided us with a lot of AWESOME information, thanks to our survey responders. With that said, here is what we found through our research.
Question 1: What Metrics are Most Important to Your Clients
One of the first things we wanted to find out was what metrics were important to these mobile marketers clients. We found that over 36% of our respondents viewed the number of installation/downloads and in app event tracking/retention as the most important metrics they tracked. These metrics can be crucial to gauging the performance of an app and can help drive the roadmap of the app later down the road. Being able to follow along with your users journey in your app can help you identify strengths and weaknesses within your app and can help you continue to improve its performance which can lead to a better experience for your users. Additionally, some respondents (11%) thought that identifying a customers lifetime value was important. This numeric value can help app developers make informed decisions about marketing and advertising, making it a very critical number to calculate.
We had some respondents provide us with some really interesting metrics that they find important. John Yi at NextME said that 'number of guests converted to client's custom marketing webpage via SMS text' was an important metric. This is a pretty interesting answer because it helps clients gauge how well their external marketing plans are working. Being able to track who is going to specific webpages via certain vehicles can be extremely helpful when identify which marketing channels are providing the best results for a company. Megan with Yodel Mobile identified 'Activation Conversion' as one of their most important metrics. This sticks out to me because it's looking at how many users are truly 'activating' your app. Whether its accounts created, customer profiles filled out or any number of in app engagements, being able to see how many users are fully integrating themselves with your app can be very important. And Carissa Lintao from Apptuitive said 'App Store Ranking' is one of their clients most important metrics. App store ranking is how your app measures up to the rest of its competition. If its ranked highly it will be viewed more and lead to more downloads which proves how important an app store ranking is. Apps that want to boost their app store ranking usually engage in ASO (App Store Optimization) strategies. These strategies can include anything from changing your apps icon to rewriting your apps description. Keeping tabs on your apps ranking in the app store can be a great way to measure your apps performance.
Identifying these metrics are important because with the way technology has improved, marketers are bombarded with loads and loads of metrics, some useful and some not so much. Being able to cut through the clutter can help marketers spend their time a lot more effectively and save their firms a lot of time and resources. Additionally, a lot of these metrics weren't really feasible in the not so distant past, it just goes to show how constantly the mobile marketing space changes.
Question 2: What is your most effective user acquisition channel?
Next, we wanted to identify where these mobile marketers are seeing the most customer acquisitions. Google Play and Apple App Store search ads led the way for this questions with just over 40% of users listing it as their most effective user acquisition channel. This does not come as a surprise, if a user is looking for a new app the app store is usually a good place to start. While its not surprising, it does show the importance of your apps presence in the app store. With so many users searching for apps there, you need to make sure your app stands out. Focus on optimizing your app store listing with things like good app screenshots and good customer reviews to boost your apps position in the app store. Facebook and Google ads were next in line with about 30% of responses. While it is good to know that you are using an effective user acquisition channel, its also good to know how cluttered each channel is. For channels like app store search ads and Facebook/Google ads, companies should put a lot of effort into making sure their offerings stand out to the right customers. It is very easy to get lost in the weeds in busy channels, so make sure you stick out!
Ivana Veljovic at Aurity said that 'Guest Blogging' is one of their most effective channels. This is interesting because this type of marketing is becoming bigger and bigger in mobile marketing. Blogging/Vlogging and Social Media have become awesome marketing mediums for companies that are looking to put a sort of 'lifestyle' behind an app. Finding your apps niche acquisition can help cut through the clutter and get directly to your users, don't be afraid to be creative!
Being able to identify these channels can help marketers choose where they want to put the marketing spend. Potential users see a lot of marketing/advertising content every day, you want to make sure that they are seeing yours. Cutting through the crowd can be difficult and often times very pricey, and if you don't choose the right channel, you are throwing your money away. Quickly identifying your companies most efficient acquisition channel can help ensure that your marketing spend is going to the right place.
Question 3: How important are each of the following to an app?
- User Acquisition - Reviews/Ratings - Performance/Stability - Analytics and Reporting - Automated Marketing - Security
We wanted to find out what parts of an app mattered to mobile marketers. We did this in our survey by providing a list of features and had our respondents rank how important they thought they were from 1 - 5. Overall, we saw that our respondents ranked all of the features almost exactly the same, with every feature staying within 1 point of each other. But performance tracking edged out the rest of the field with an average score of 4.4. Performance tracking encompasses everything from crash reporting and network/api connectivity to overall app health. These metrics are extremely useful to marketers because the apps performance directly impacts the users. A bad experience in an app can completely turn off a user to a company. Making sure your app is performing at its peak is crucial for a company that is trying to interact with their users. Security, Analytics and Reporting, and User Acquisition were all tied for second with a score of 4.33. And Reviews/Ratings and Automated Marketing rounded out the answers with scores of 3.78 and 3.56 respectively. With ever feature being so closely scored we can tell that each feature holds a decent amount of weight in the success of an app. To create a successful app, you have to keep an eye on all of these listed features and make sure they are all up to par.
Question 4: Whats a unique trend you've seen in mobile marketing?
Finally, we wanted to hear directly from mobile marketers about what they are seeing in the field. Here are some of the most interesting responses we heard:
Sandor Jones at YouAppi said 'Connected TV' is a unique trend they have seen. This trend is truly unique because it is a relatively new medium. Connected or smart TVs have only been around since 2009, but the first prototypes look almost nothing like what we have now. With many of these TVs offering the use of apps, connected TVs would be a great place to market to potential app users. I anticipate a large shift in advertising with connected TVs in the very near future. Inbal Lavi at Webpals Group noticed that more and more mobile app developers are making the change to 'Performance Business Models'. This is another interesting trend because it shows that there is a shift occurring in the mobile marketing space. Instead of letting firms and agencies decide what the price of an advertisement is, more companies are opting to engage in performance based pricing strategies. Strategies like Price Per Click (PPC) and Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) are becoming more and more common place for mobile marketers. Josh Kocaurek with Appsposure.com said that 'Using Influencers, mainly on instagram, to promote apps' is a unique trend they have observed. Using influencers is a massive trend in mobile marketing, this explosion of influencer marketing can be attributed to the extreme growth of social media. Thanks to platforms like Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat it is easier than ever for someone to build their following and become an influencer. Using influencer marketing can be a lot cheaper than some other marketing practices because most of these influencers work by and for themselves. If you do choose to try out influencer marketing, make sure you do A LOT of research on your potential influencers. You want to make sure that they directly interact with your target market, and that they are someone you want to have your app tied in with. Lior Eldan at Moburst said that 'Looking at cross device behavior and conversions' is a trend that they have seen. With devices getting smarter and smarter, cross device behavior is going to become even more important, but it will also become more difficult to track everything. Companies that can effectively track their apps cross device behavior/conversions will be able to create a complete picture of their apps performance and it is definitely worth the time/resources to ensure that you are keeping an eye on your app across multiple platforms. And finally we have Mike over at Udonis Inc. noted that the 'Season lasts 365 Days' and I'm sure he's preaching to the choir. While mobile marketing may be one of the most interesting and evolving channels in the marketing sphere, its also one of the most daunting. There is no 'off season' for mobile marketing, it is a constant cycle. It seems like people are almost constantly on their devices, so there really is no down time for mobile marketing campaigns. But while mobile marketing may require the most work, it can also be the most effective marketing campaign for companies and apps more specifically.
Overall, we were able to derive a lot of great information from this survey. Mobile marketing is constantly changing, and staying with the times can often be a never ending task. But keeping up with the times can help companies constantly improve their mobile marketing plans and continue growing their mobile presence. If we missed anything, or you have something to add email me at Michael@AppLink.io and you could be included in a future blog!
And to all of our awesome respondents,