App Promotion Summit: AppsFire on the app promotion landscape, Q&A

This post is part of our series of articles from the App Promotion Summit 2013, taking a closer look at the event’s speakers and bringing you the key points from their talk. Take a look at our round-up of mobyaffiliates coverage from the event.
AppsFire founder Ouriel Ohayon can always be counted on for providing strong opinions and a great deal of insight on the current state of the app industry. We caught up with Ouriel during this month’s App Promotion Summit to discuss where developers are going wrong when it comes to app marketing and what the future landscape may look like.

App Promotion Summit 2013: AppsFire Q&A

IMAG0554_2_1Mobyaffiliates: What have been the main takeaways for you from APS 2013?
Ouriel Ohayon: The market is maturing, it’s becoming more sophisticated and extremely technical in the sense that you need to aggregate a large amount of knowledge to become good at marketing. It’s as much a science as an art. You need to be very well educated before you jump into the pool. The other takeaway is that this self-education process is ongoing. There is always new people to meet, new things to learn, always new players in the industry. It’s a reminder that you should always be up-to-date with the information. Sites like mobyaffiliates can help do that and events like APS can help do that too.
Are developers not educated enough?
No, there is a huge gap between available solutions on the market and the amount of awareness that those solutions exist. For example the typical behaviour today is: “I need to get as many downloads as possible.” That is the wrong calculation. The real calculation is “how can I get as many engaged users as possible.” To solve that problem you need to have a set of modules and services built in and around your app so you can actually answer that question. The huge majority of the market is still thinking in pre-historical terms of downloads versus engaged users.

“I think there is a lot of extremely shoddy behaviour going on in this industry in terms of app marketing and app promotion.” – Ouriel Ohayon

Is that because it’s easier to think in those terms?
Absolutely. It’s absolutely easier. Today you go to Facebook, or Google, or whatever network and you buy users. But it doesn’t mean you are doing it in a very relevant or very smart manner. The true manner is to think in an ROI orientated way. Am I bringing users that are returning my investment of money and time? In order to do that it’s a lot more complex. It requires a lot of analytical skills and analytical tools and a lot of negotiation abilities. Even using all those automated services and real time bidding platforms, it’s just not enough. You need to have deep knowledge of the eco-system and avoid all the mistakes. You need to make sure you are learning and iterating on what you are learning. So it’s clear that the market is far from being educated enough.
So will there be some kind of self-balancing in the app market? Once people realise it’s harder to gain valuable users, will their be less apps being made?
Yeah, in a way it’s not a bad thing. Who cares if there is a million or ten million apps? What people care about is that there are good apps. The competition of ‘who has the biggest app store’ is not a war that is interesting to the user. It is a war that is interesting to the platforms. So I think what users care about is quality apps. If the app store can actually feature stronger curation toward apps that are high quality and remove all the apps that are never downloaded, then why not? I think it is a good thing. There is a sort of Darwinism that is taking place. As the market grows there is not room for everyone to grow at the same speed. The market is evolving, the players are adapting themselves,
That sounds like a future that will be dominated by bigger companies with the resources to understand how to acquire engaged users?
I don’t think it is a question of small or big. I think it is a question of ‘quality vs poor quality.’ There is evidence everyday that independent developers can make it in the app stores – and they don’t have the resources of the giants in the market. I think there will always be room for them, at least most of them. It will be a lot harder for smaller developers – even big developers – to be successful with apps that are not good quality, or useful, or interesting to users. I think that is going to be the shift of the next generation of apps. There’s going to be more good apps and less poor quality apps and the market forces are going to take care of that.
What else needs to change in terms of app promotion?
I think there is a lot of extremely shoddy behaviour going on in this industry in terms of app marketing and app promotion. For example, misleading ad units, accidental click throughs, incentivised deceptive marketing techniques. I think this can only go away if regulation comes into play. The app stores cannot take care of everything and I think that advertising organisations like IAB and IMA could do the same thing they did on the web – they are not doing enough. There are lots of ad networks that are extremely aggressive on getting downloads, rather than creating healthy growth. This is damaging the market, misleading the users and deceiving the advertisers too.
Appsfire is a global discovery and distribution platform for mobile apps, which provides users with a powerful recommendation engine. Developers can use AppsFire to accelerate their user acquisition cycle with non-incentivized advertising units. Appsfire also helps in keeping the users of an app engaged with the App Booster SDK: A notification system coupled with a powerful feedback system.

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