App Discovery Ilja Laurs, Founder & CEO, GetJar eDay, Rotterdam, September 2011
There are already 1 000 000 apps out there. This will grow 10x in the next few years. How will YOUR app be discovered? • At the beginning of the app era, it was all about getting into the top 100 apps list. This worked because app stores had simplistic discovery mechanisms. Generating “uplift” to manipulate ranking is not a long term sustainable app marketing strategy. • As app stores evolve, ranking is becoming personal and based on engagement and contextual relevancy. You cannot trick these algorithms, and you shouldn’t. • Sustainable app discoverability strategy becomes a smart marketing spend stepfunction.
The future of app ranking Every app store will implement these principles • Personalization – Everybody is different, so app stores will produce individual app recommendation lists for each one of us.
• Engagement – Ranking will be based on the actual engagement with an app, not number of views, clicks or downloads.
• Contextual relevancy – On the web, keyword match became the ultimate relevancy measurement. Keywords are very limited in Web 2.0/app environment (apps cannot be indexed), and further user experience improvements demand predictive relevancy, in addition to reactive. – Relevancy will be measured with respect to multiple indicators: keyword, search history, already installed apps, social graph, location, …even the color of the phone!
App marketing strategy
The scale/spend/conversion step function At zero spend, the app will reach some scale, defined by its engagement and number of relevant contexts.
With larger marketing spend, app will on ECPM in less relevant contexts, achieving a new level of scale. Together, in less relevant contexts conversions will drop.
With small marketing spend, app will win on ECPM in relevant contexts, achieving the next â€œfloorâ€?.
Marketing spend 5
Optimizing app discoverability • Increase engagement – Not only increased engagement will increase your user’s value, but it will help your application to be ranked higher, thus increasing your base (no marketing spend) scale. Try to win on engagement in every natural relevancy context.
• Target for larger/more valuable/more relevancy contexts – Some relevancy contexts are larger or more valuable than others. E.g. “Bahamas travel app” appeals to a narrower circle than “Caribbean travel app”(though might beat the latter on engagement on specifically “Bahamas” vertical). Apparently “Private jets” segment is more valuable than “sports planes”.
• Keep marketing spend below your user value (unless aggressively investing) – Downloads in different relevancy contexts will give different conversions. Going for the largest scale and marketing your app in non-relevant contexts will dramatically decrease your conversions, so be cautious.
• Scale is not a continuous function of marketing spend – Experiment with different channels and different price levels, try to find sweet spots at the beginning of the steps.
Ilja Laurs Founder & CEO www.getjar.com