Buying Mobile Advertising – 12 Rules To Ensure Your App Strategy Isn’t A Flop

James Cooper | January 31, 2014

App Marketing

Mick Rigby has over 20 years of experience in advertising and marketing for big agencies and consultancies. He is the founder and Managing Director of Yodel Mobile, a full service globally reaching mobile agency with clients including, Daily Mail and General Trust Group, The Economist, ITV, The Wall Street Journal, SAGE, Kobo and Equifax.  We were lucky enough to have him speak about mobile media buying and app marketing at App Promotion Summit.   Mick’s talk was very well received by the delegates and covered a number of areas including:

  • What To Remember When Starting Out Out On Your App Promotion Journey
  • How To Make Sure You Are Spending Your Budgets Wisely
  • What The Biggest Pitfalls Are To Watch Out For

Here’s the audio file or podcast of Mick’s “BUYING MOBILE ADVERTISING” talk:

The presentation is available below on slideshare:

Finally we have the full text of the talk reproduced below:
Thank you very much. I hope nobody suffers from sea sickness, because we are going to be diving into these charts and it zips around quite a lot. So we’re going to get a bit wibbly wobbly over the next 15 minutes. My name is Mick, as you are all away, because I’ve just been introduced. I run an international mobile agency called Yodel Mobile, and we’ve been around for about eight years in the marketplace. But I guess we are all here today because none of us agree with this particular statement. If you build it, they will come. Some of you have probably built your apps, stuck them in the app store, and nobody has found it. Some of you have probably come to the market a little bit late and understand that that is the case. We will know that is a load of all rubbish, that’s a lot of rubbish from the [inaudible 01:08], which is my hometown, which thankfully stopped two weeks ago, so my bins have been emptied.
So it’s really easy, mobile advertising. What you to do is help your potential user find your app and then make sure they feel compelled to actually download your app. Well, what I’m going to talk to you today about is pretty much a consolidation of my 20 years worth of experience in marketing and advertising, eight of those in mobile. So I’ve condensed that into 12 rules, and hopefully, just short of 15 minutes worth of talk. So I think you guys are benefiting from all of the hard work I’ve done. So get you pens ready.
We’re going to dive in straight away. 12 key points and the first one kicks off with have a very clear role for mobile. It’s already been touch on a couple of times, but one thing that never ceases to surprise me is how many people actually go out and build an app without actually finding what the goal is, what the prize is. Is that going to be generating new customers? Is that looking to generate new downloads? Is it a revenue driver? Is it a CRM tool? Once you’ve considered mobile, the first thing you must do is define that particular goal, and once you’ve done that, you now need to look at your strategic process, that’s your second role. I don’t know if you managed to write that down in time.
We have a six-step process that we recommend to anybody in the mobile space to follow. If you follow this, the chances of failure will be considerably reduced. You start with your business and marketing objectives, you define the role of mobile, what the prize is, what you are trying to achieve in mobile, you then look at the mobile strategy, how you go about delivering that, what are you building for that, that’s your development stage. Is it an M site? Is it an app? Is it an Android app? Is it a CRM, and SMS solution that you are going to put in? And then you look at the mobile delivery, which is pretty much what we are going to be talking about for the next three or four sessions today.
Essential for all is that is your campaign evaluation. There are so many tools now that you can actually put into your app or overlay on your activity to make sure you know what is actually happening in the mobile space, and that’s your campaign evaluation element. So that’s two rules
Number three, the old marketing rules still apply. As I said, I’ve been in marketing and advertising for quite a while. I’ve still got my very first day book when I was green behind the ears, [inaudible 03:40] in the early 90s. And there are six things written on the back page which must have been told me during the first month or two of me working in advertising, and I dragged these up today for this particular presentation because they still hold true, and very much so for advertising in the mobile space. You’ve got to be clear. You’ve to be targeted. There is no point in actually using advertising and marketing solutions that aren’t going to reach the audience you’re actually looking for, the right message. If it’s a free app, if you want people to download, then make sure that’s included in the ad. Good creative works extremely well in mobile. There is a awful lot of clutter out there, and there is an awful lot of crap being said. So if your creative stands out, so will the number of app downloads you’re getting.
The right environment, if it’s a sports app or a gaming app, obviously, you want to be advertising in those kinds of environments and also the right mindset. What is your consumer, your potential consumer going to be thinking when they are actually downloading? Do they have the time to download? Are they looking for a game? Are they looking for a purchase through a supermarket app at that point in time? So make sure you get into their mindset.
The fourth really important rule I think is management expectations. Again, the excellent morning session earlier on today has kind of covered on all of these kinds of things, but what are you expecting when you’re doing your marketing, and advertising, and launching your app. Very importantly, if you’re an agency, what your clients are expecting to see and also your boss. I’ve got a little chart that I’m going to flag up. This is a current campaign of ours. It’s been running for around about eight months. This is the first six months of activity. Hopefully you can there the big blue stuff there is the number of installs we’ve had. You can see they started off small and then over the last month of activity, they absolutely rocketed. The big spiky line there, that is the cost per acquisition, and the little red line at the bottom is the actual activations. So the cost per acquisition is the cost per activation in this sense.
Now, coming back to that point, managing expectations, that first peak there, it took a month for us to get through that initial stage of activity to get the earnings, to drop the networks, to drop the solutions that weren’t working, and then to do more of the activities that were working. Now I’ve been in situation when we first started where we were working with clients that expected results within the first week, two weeks, and three weeks. As you can see from this instance, it took a month before we got anywhere close to the cost per acquisition. And the next three or four months were all about consolidating, and as you can see, right at the end, six months in, we managed to hit a massive peak, a spike of installs. Thankfully in this instance, we had a client who was prepared to work with us understood the situation and trusted us to get into the marketplace to the extent that we knew what was going to work and what wasn’t going to work, so that was a six month management period of activity. Track, track, track.
The great thing about mobile now, if I was standing up to present this, say 18 months ago, we’d probably be talking about what potential solutions there were and what could work. Now there are a number of very good tracking solutions on the market third party that you can drop into your applications that gives you full visibility of what people are doing within the app, what they are buying, what they’re looking at, what they’re using more often. The great thing about that is that kind of tracking can now be linked back into where your audiences are coming from. Are they coming from search? What are they clicking on search? Are they clicking on Facebook? Are they coming from display advertising? And that allows you as clients, [inaudible 7:36], advertisers to then optimize to those areas that are working for you and drop the areas that aren’t, and it’s so important if cost per acquisition is what you are looking at focusing on.
My sixth recommendation is to treat every campaign as a test campaign. The market is moving so quickly and before you know it, the area that that rich stream of audience that’s coming to your app is probably going to dry up. So you constantly need to be looking at new solutions and new ways of looking at things. This is my favorite actually. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should. How many of you guys have used Wi-Fi on the tube in London over the last few months? Let’s say, I’m being generous, 20%? QR has its place, but this an ad for a QR for a job search application service. And I won’t ask how many of you are looking of jobs. But let’s say that 20% of you that has used Wi-Fi underground and let’s say have of you are actually looking for a job at the moment. Your market therefore is only ten percent. So there is 90% of your ad spend is actually wasted. So just because you can stick a QR code on the underground doesn’t actually mean you actually should. Talk to me later about my issues with augmented reality and 3D advertising as well. Things that look great, they have a place, but aren’t necessarily the thing that you should be thinking of if it’s all about app download and successful activity. You’ve got to weigh out the fact that mistakes will be made. As always in life, you’ve got to learn from them. This is a great example. This is Metro. Metro has a gaming product called Play Casino. Metro is the daily free magazine that’s handed out across the country. As you can see from this, it’s a great little ad [inaudible 09:36] says join our Android device and get ten pounds free.  The only problem with this is this ran last Thursday, my phone is an iPhone, and that’s taking to the Android market. When you get it right everything will click so hang in there. When it suddenly does go right, it’s absolutely incredible. You manage to see those sales, those apps, those downloads, those installs going through the roof, and this is something that I am going to share with you which is hot off of the press. This is some research that we’ve done across a whole range of our clients over the last six months, and this is just one slide of a 25 slide presentation.
In short, what we’ve been saying is if we’ve been pushing clients up into the top 20 location in the IOS app store, we’re getting around about 23, 25% of additional uploads in terms of organic, so that’s obviously supplementing the overall activity you’re doing. We’re close to the end. I think we have only a couple more to do guys. This is an American chart just showing you the complexities of the marketplace. There are so many app networks out there. There are solely marketing solutions, exchanges, there are all sorts of stuff that’s going on from new technology, and there are lots and lots of agencies out there. It’s a complex marketplace.
So my tenth recommendation is get the right team behind you and in place. Just because your major agency is spending $50 Million on television doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing in mobile, user specialist. And the mobile landscape doesn’t stop evolving. This is what I started on, the complexity of the space, but know what the date was yesterday? It was the tenth of July. The tenth of July was five years ago, the app store was actually launched. And now, as you are fully aware, there are 900,000 apps in the app store. The iPad was only launched three years ago. We don’t know necessarily where the market is going to go, other than we know it’s going to go crazy. There is going to be new tech. We’re using different kinds of devices to phone, and text, and download apps on in the next two or three years. So always have an eye to the future and don’t sit back and accept what the market is as it currently stands.
There was a piece on the BBC website yesterday. App store [inaudible 12:10] as it celebrates its fifth birthday.  What this article was suggesting is that nearly two thirds of the apps out of that 900,000 on IOS, and 850,000 on Android are apps that are just not getting downloaded. They might be getting one or two downloads a month. So they are referring to them as zombies. There is so much out there in the app store that nobody is using. So once you got your downloads, make sure your users keep coming back. There were some stats released a couple of days ago, which suggested 68% of smart phone users use five or less apps a month. Consider that when you look at your phone and see how many apps you’ve downloaded. So it’s all well and good all of this push activity that we’re proposing that you need to track, you need to get people to download your app and utilize it. What you also need to do is make sure you’ve put in place a solid CRM, a push strategy, and marketing strategy in place to make sure that your consumers are coming back to your app, that you are updating it regularly, and also you’re cross promoting it across all of your other applications in the marketplace. And that friends, is myself, and hopefully I’ve done that in about ten minutes. I’ll be around all day if you’ve got any questions, and hopefully you’ve found that quite useful. Thank you
Thanks to Mick for giving such a great presentation – you can find more App Promotion Summit coverage here

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