Survey Analysis (Part 1): Mobile App Marketing

This is the follow up to the developer survey I conducted a few weeks back. Last week I published the survey results in the form of an infographic. Today I’d like to share my analysis of the data collected.

Forty-one survey participants were asked about the marketing activities that they have pursued in the past, as well as the marketing activities that they intend to pursue in the future.  Of the 41 survey participants, 34 have previously released a mobile app and only 16 (47%) pursued marketing activities when their mobile app was released. The ratio of marketing versus no marketing within different app price points is shown below.

Rather than enlisting the services of a marketing consultant (contractor) or agency, two-thirds of the participants chose to carry out the marketing activities themselves. The figure below illustrates who carried out the marketing and the range of marketing spend. The $1,000-mark was at the mid-point of the marketing budget, with half of the participants having spent less than $1,000 marketing their mobile app. For those that spent over $1,000 on marketing, the majority of the participants spent in the $1,000-$2,999 range, although some spent over $10,000.

When asked about their experience with marketing, 56.3% of those who carried out marketing activities responded positively.  It is not surprising to see a 100% satisfaction level at the over $10,000 spending level.  What is striking here is the 100% satisfaction level reported by the group that spent between $100 and $999 and enlisted the services of a marketing consultant (contractor).

To gain a better sense of the type of marketing activities that returned the most positive outcome, the survey data is broken down further into the marketing activities based on who carried out the tasks. These tasks include

  1. Issuing press releases.
  2. Contacting app review websites and press outlets.
  3. Online advertising.
  4. Offline advertising.

Those who took on marketing activities themselves also pursued grassroots activities such as social media campaigns or blogger outreach, which is labeled under “Other” in the chart below.  These are also the activities that produced the best results for this group, compared to marginally positive sentiments for online advertising, and contacting review websites and press outlets.

As expected, for the group who enlisted the services of a marketing consultant (contractor), every marketing activity resulted in a positive sentiment. For the group who enlisted the services of an agency, they were most satisfied with the results generated from both on- and offline advertising. 

 So, what can we extrapolate from this data? My interpretation follows…

  • A $10k+ marketing budget nets positive results, the survey respondents with that level of budget did the marketing in-house rather than going to an agency. I also want to point out that those who carried out marketing themselves but only spent between $1k-$3k had a low satisfaction rate, at merely 25%. So if that’s the budget you have, think twice before taking on the marketing tasks yourselves. Perhaps it’d be worthwhile to consult an agency or hire a marketing contractor.
  • Only half of the survey respondents were satisfied with the results achieved with an agency, compared to 100% satisfaction when using a contractor. Plus the spend with a contractor was significantly lower (<$1k v $3k+). So if you are thinking about outsourcing your marketing efforts, look at taking on a contractor first.
  •  It’s also worth noting that the use of agency netted a 100% dissatisfaction rate when it came to contacting review sites and press outlets. It’s likely that those who used an agency had a higher expectation of media exposure than those who used a contractor.  So if you do end up taking the agency route, perhaps the thing to do is to focus the spend on advertising efforts.
  • For those that carried out marketing themselves, grassroots-type activities such as social media campaigns or blogger outreach generated positive results. What is not captured here is the type of results produced (downloads or visibility) and the number of hours an app entrepreneur spent doing those tasks. When the value of an app entrepreneur’s time is factored in, I wonder if outsourcing the marketing tasks would be a more cost effective approach.

Next up, what type of marketing activities these app entrepreneurs plan on pursuing for their upcoming app launch in Part 2 of my analysis.

Category : mobile