The state of mobile application marketing in the present application economy is shaping the strategies used by mobile application marketers in an age of unlimited supply of applications.
Application store dynamics drive the application economy, the demand of the application marketplace and evolution of user behavior over the years. Every mobile application development company needs to align itself with present trends and challenges before embarking on a sound mobile application marketing strategy that aids its success in the coming months.
Evolution in user behavior – mobile cannibalizing other mediums
Mobile media time now has witnessed triple-digit growth in recent years thus cannibalizing other media channels and platforms. The digital spend for mobile has exceeded TV ad with several ad dollars to mobile as other mediums were squeezed out by advertisers.
As consumers continue to shift to a multi-screen mobile environment, the attention span has drastically changed with lower but frequent spans an entire day. Marketers now even have to make sense of convergence of mobile and video by time spent and the consumption of multimedia through sight, sound, and motion. Social media marketing channels like Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and the like have also introduced proprietary video formats, filters and stickers thus leading to a surge in video-based applications compared to other categories.
Here are some of the trends that will keep challenging the course of mobile application marketing this year and beyond:
An analysis from Flurry last year considering 1 billion applications across double the number of billion devices with respect to session & time spent on the same, the winner for video communication and its consumption were messaging & social applications. They were eating other application categories, and gaming applications suffered a huge deficit on user sessions and total time spent in the category.
Although the above stats do not reveal a causal metric for revenue drops and the fact is that the industry boomed owing to blockbuster titles, the concern was that the success
necessitated several more titles would be required to replicate the success every year.
Based on user behavior, total time spent in applications has got a massive boost with 150 billion hours spent on an annual basis. Mobile application marketers need to embrace the trends of product development and marketing since it is quite revelatory that video-first environments are now dominating the course of user sessions and time spent in those categories.
2. Media is now increasingly becoming a commodity
Commodity-based media can easily devalue any marketing strategy, and there is still time in valuing mobile media based on performance advertisers, but now the shift is apparent. Once the commodity is getting scarce, its value increases and buyers will have to sell a premium, finding methods to ensure that they retain its value thus opting for retention mode. The seller will find it feasible for the short term, but such open economy trends are harmful in the long run.
3. Tipping Point Owing to Lack of Full Funnel Marketing Strategy
We have also reached a tipping point with respect to ad-tech since with no funnel marketing strategy in place buyers are losing users rapidly. Mobile ad spend growth is increasing drastically, and the rate of spending is exceeding the rate of any sort of smartphone adoption with a clear ceiling to the trend.
The increase in spending is unsustainable, exceeding the supply for application marketers who are keen to leverage returns.
With thousands of dollars spent on social, mobile, search etc., more DSPs are investing in ad exchanges and even targeting the same users again and again.
Google & Facebook duopoly, account for 99% of ad revenue growth with limited pie share reserved for ad tech companies. Although application marketers can work with 10 channels at a time, but will they be able to target a unique audience with lack of platform parity on many counts.
But the fact also remains that the duopoly is indicative of scale only with small but efficient premium networks contribute heavily to overall user monetization. The stage is now set for limited mobile inventory, as ad platforms will be under buyer-pressure for better efficacy with prediction models & algorithms in reaching out to the total audience, and the conversion rate of impressions. One can expect ad spend effectiveness to drop down at platform-level.
4. Application Store Discovery – a huge problem for marketers
Application store discovery on mobile platforms can be challenging, with the higher rankers usually the winner in an open field. With 4M applications total, the real challenge is to break through an already crowded application marketplace.
The complexity of gaming applications is maturing and even exceeding the intended shelf life, but the window for monetization is now shutting down rapidly. Converging market forces, and increased competition to monetize will expand the horizons of each of the applications to international borders soon.
The monetization curve of emerging markets will thrive as the form factor is improving considerably in many SEA & BRIC territories.