Jan 17, 2012

12 Marketing Trends for 2012: #10

The figures seem to prove it: Apps are a big hit in mobile business. 500,000 apps are available from Apple’s AppStore. 100,000,000,000 apps are being downloaded every month and 48 percent of iPhone users spend at least 30 minutes a day on their apps.

On the other hand 54 percent of apps fail to reach the threshold of 1000 downloads and 90 percent of app developers fail to generate a significant return on investment.

So why invest in apps?
Apps – especially when they are offered free of charge – are a very good way of generating awareness of and empathy with your brand. There has been huge growth in the number of stores and platforms. Apple’s iTunes has now been joined by Android, OVI, Blackberry, WindowsPhone 7, and Bada. Apps can also link print media to electronic media via QR codes and SmartAds, and have now established themselves on TV screens, in car electronics and on netbooks. A lot of companies still haven’t recognized the huge opportunities created by this dynamic offshoot of mobile internet use. And only around 2 percent of available apps are actually easy for clients to find.

What makes an app successful?
Apps can be divided into two basic types:
1. Apps for saving time (e.g. store finders, mobile CRM, etc.)
2. Apps for killing time (e.g. games, entertainment, etc.)
The fact that they can be used any time, in any place makes apps in general an attractive proposition.
But if it isn’t useful or not well enough publicized, your app will not be used – or even found – by the target group, and all the expensive programming that went into it will be wasted. So how do you ensure your new app is successful? The following two checklists are designed to help.

What to remember when developing an app?
Checklist 1: What to remember when developing an app
- Elegant solution, convenience (e.g. solves user’s problem)
- Actual added value (NB: app ≠ mobile website)
- If possible, be unique (have a clear USP)
- Clearly defined style (be stylish, have a wonderful design)
- Simple as possible to use (e.g. clean layout, speed of use)
- Attractive icon (e.g. high quality, tell a story)
- High fidelity user interface
- Dynamic content and clear overview of app content
- Animation
- Interaction (sneak peek, splash page, teaser videos)
- Fast interactions
- Sound
- Intelligent use of technical possibilities (be creative!)
- Which category will you publish your app in?
- Industry/competitor comparisons? Client resonance?
- Beta releases/preview releases
- Polish (e.g. landscape mode (calculator), search, push)
- Clear Application Definition Statement (ADS): your differentiator (your solution) for (your audience)

Checklist 2: What to remember when marketing an app
- Keywords: must be possible to find app with simple search terms
- Cross promotion and promotion in-store
- Blog posts
- Social integration (social communities, forums and engineering)
- Advertising/ad networks/game networks
- Set up landing pages (website)
- Write news pieces about the app even during development
- Video demos (Youtube, Facebook and for integration on website landing page)
- Regular store updates
- Invitation to closed user groups (invite visitors to website to act as testers)
- Buzz marketing (almost half of all downloads are on friends’ recommendations)
- In-app advertising

Native apps vs. web apps: who will make the running in 2012?
In 2012 the total market for apps is once again set to post triple-digit growth. The only question is whether providers can bypass Apple’s App Store. And they certainly can.Web apps provide a very efficient – and well accepted – alternative way to give clients and users an app-like customer experience.


Native App - Offline usage
- User concept based on 3D imagery
- User interface
- Full access to all mobile phone functions
- Display performance
- Accepted (sale) price process
- Security - Variety of platforms
- Content management and ­onward development
- Delayed updates
- Third-party revenue sharing (e.g. Apple’s 30%)
- AppStore controls customer data (content providers only get click rates and statistics)
- Cost-intensive and time-­consuming (specialist developers sometimes needed)

Web App - Not platform-dependent
- Scalability
- Immediately effective
- No third-party revenue sharing
- Various payment methods can be used
- Cost-effective, rapid implementation
- HTML5, JavaScript: high quality appearance, usability
- Only online usage
- Limited access to mobile phone functions
- Log-in process for paid-for apps
- Limited user interface