Have you personally done any marketing? To answer this question, you need to ask yourself other questions like: Did I compete for a job when there were other candidates? Did I compete for a desirable apartment where there were other applicants? Did I arrange my impression to be most favorable to another person? Yes, that’s right! All of these behaviors are different types of marketing.
Marketing is everywhere these days and mobile industry is not an exception. In fact a mobile application business is leveraged by many different marketing strategies. The mobile industry has grown enormously during past couple of years and many people cannot live without their phones anymore. I personally would suffer if I mistakenly left mine at home one day! A recent U.N. study showed that more people have cellphone than toilets. Out of the world’s estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones. Only 4.5 billion have access to working toilets.
Considering the growth of mobile industry, it is important to decide what content to put in the applications. It is extremely important to have an audience in mind for the application. For example, if an application gives grade-school level educational materials, it should probably present content that homeschoolers would like. Regardless of having appropriate content that fits with the audiences, the type of content, the way it is presented and the way it is introduced to audiences play major roles in the application’s success. This fact has been hidden from eyes for a long time. The term “Marketing” did not even exist in Webster’s dictionary in 1900 and was invented around 1910. Marketing at its best shape was only concerned with pricing; the low price; the more people who are attracted to purchase it. With respect to the main goal of marketing, its meaning has been extended. “Marketing is not the art of finding clever ways to dispose of what you build or develop. It is the art of genuine customer value” – Philip Kotler said.
It is crucial for software companies to know how to sell their products. Assuming that we have implemented a mobile application and want to push it to an app store, there are several best practices for marketing and I will cover some of them here:
Be descriptive: A user should know from the very first sentence of the description what the app does. The first line of the description should be direct and shows the most interesting feature of the app. We don’t need to talk about everything, but should make the reader want to click. If we have produced a killer app before, it is a good idea to mention it at the top of our description; for example, “Brought to you by the creators of …”. We need to use keywords that are less common (to decrease competition in search results) by searching for popular ones in the app stores. If the app can be used in more than one language, we can include keywords in those languages as well.
Invest on graphics: When it comes to technology and the Internet, people are mostly visual. People are attracted to whatever stands out and catches their eye. Graphics, like the first line of the description, have to be compelling. Since colors influence moods, we need to make sure that we are using the correct colors alongside with the mood of our applications. If the app is high energy, we can put a graphic that shows that. If the app is meant to be calming, use cool colors like blue. It is a wise decision to consult with a graphic designer to discover the best mood and image that will capture our app’s purpose.
Pitching the application: When any company launches a new product, they have to know their perspective. It is what makes them unique. The same thing applies for the announcement of a new app. We should not just pitch to the general editor, who receives dozens of pitches every day. We need to find who covers launches of apps and specifically the ones in our category. We need to make it as easy as possible when introducing the application and offer interviews with our developers and designers.
Advertisement on the right media and with the right audience: We need to reach out to the correct media outlets. We need to know who are the main influencers of our applications, because they are audiences that will listen to. Along with knowing the audience, we need to figure out where are their favorite places in digital world are and where they used to hang out. It is possible to find these places by take out advertisements on the websites that our target audience visit and interact with them.
Review and feedback: It is always a good strategy to ask for customers’ feedback, after the app is released. Reviews are able to push an application to the top of Google ranking and increase the popularity of the app. It is possible to add a support link, number or email, on the app store or marketplace where customers can ask questions or address certain issues. Also it is a good idea to add this link in the application as well.
• Market your way to growth: 8 ways to win, Philip Kotler, John Wiley & Sons publication.
• Marketing Management (13 edition), Phil Kotler, Kevin Keller, Pearson Education publication.