Adventures in Mobile Marketing


Incredibly Simple Android App

Sunday, 15. June 2014 by Anna Billstrom

Just wrote up instructions on how to make the most barebones Android app. A view, a button, and then something happens on the button. In Java, KitKat, works from SDK 8 to 19.

Code here.
Instructions here.

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Mobile Ad Service- iAd vs. AdMobs/Google Ads

Tuesday, 27. May 2014 by Anna Billstrom

Recently, I implemented these two services in different mobile apps (iOS) and had to jot down the pros and cons. Enjoy!

iAD- Apple’s ad service that is native to iOS apps. This is easy to implement for developers, but not great for advertisers:
- High cost to entry, for advertisers
- Difficult to include multiple instances on any individual view (top and bottom banner, for example.)
- “in-app” experience- ad pops up as interstitial before “leaving” the app.

Google Ads (AdMob)
- Cheaper to be an advertiser
- A little more difficult to integrate
- Ability to have more ads per view
- More callbacks on click, open, leave app
- No “in-app” experience like iAd; user clicks actually leave the app.
- Nice tie-in with Google Analytics

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Mobile Marketing- How to Get Your App Out There

Wednesday, 14. May 2014 by Anna Billstrom

(cracking knuckles) It’s been a long time, but I’m ready to re-invigorate this blog! A question was posed by a fellow developer on an iPhone mailing list: how to promote his app?

My current company – PickAxe Mobile- of which I am a founding partner, deals with this problem constantly. Well not a problem, more a challenge.

The first thing to ask yourself is:

What are my goals for this app?

That will determine your marketing strategy.

- lots of users
- product direction
- cash

Those are separate strategies, by the way.

Lots of Users
Products such as Instagram weren’t out there for the money, they were out there for the wallet-share. Getting onto phones and getting used by as many users as possible. This marketing strategy is going to be viral, with ad dollar and key reviews. Focusing on top placement in the App Store and very aggressive responsiveness to customer concerns. Alpha and beta groups are a necessity, and all product planning will go towards happy customers.

Product Direction
The goal here is to have the users define your product direction. Similar to “lots of users” you are focusing on getting feedback and usage details and highlighting *what people want* versus what you want- basically,Customer Development. You’re evolving a product to an ideal opportunity (which may pivot) or customer. Methods would involve setting up a feedback loop mechanism, a/b testing, and high responsiveness to all feedback. Alpha, beta groups of users that are more along the lines of your ideal customer than earlier adopters or friends. Bloggers, ads, and placement in the store aren’t as critical. It’s not about the number of customers but the quality, defining your product (probably for acquisition, or for your brand).

Cash
You’re doing this to make money. So the viability of course depends a lot on what kind of app you’re making. Assume you have a great product. How do you get the most monetarily out of your app?

The very first thing is product uniqueness in the store. Do your competitive analysis.

Next, find out where users* of your app (or competitors) are going to get recommendations. Is it Google and SEO, the Store’s keyword categorization, or blogger and top app sites? Create relationships and try to get your app some visibility. May involve putting some capital forward, where promo codes aren’t enough.

* Find out who/what are those potential customers of yours. This is a hard task, but try to define the ideal customer.

Strategies of monetization include:
- pricing app (revenue from downloads)
- in app purchases
- free version, with upgrade sans ads
- in app advertising

The positives and negatives of each of those monetizations is another blog post, of course!

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Transactional In-App Email

Saturday, 19. November 2011 by Anna Billstrom

Just had a great conversation with SendGrid – we’re already using their API for sending in-app messanging transactionally, at work. The API is easy to use, and you have great reporting on email deliverability through the web interface. Just chatted with two representatives at Women2.0′s Startup Weekend event- they’re sponsoring some prizes.

I’m also a fan of MailChimp- and have setup various clients on them. The Flash/UI interface is really great, and the reporting on the various email campaigns is also easy. They, like SendGrid, have a very communicative and readily available customer service – for engineering and design.

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The Momentus Blog

Monday, 14. February 2011 by Anna Billstrom

Hello dear readers, sorry for the long absence. I have to admit I’ve been cheating on you with another mistress- the Momentus Media Blog! It’s a viral app development consultancy, I’ve been working with, at Momentus Blog

Guess which one was the most read (and had a running lead on the top read blog post on this site for a while…) The Oauth one, ha.

I’m also writing a lot about iOS, food & feminism on the main blog, banane.com. If I have nuggets about email I’ll post them here, viral/FB stuff on Momentus. Gavin may write here occassionally as well.

Thanks!
Anna

Thanks!

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Marketing, De-evolution Style!

Friday, 22. October 2010 by Gavin Handley

Last week I received this fan email, from new wave band Devo. I went on-line and checked out what they were up to. Turns out they’re launching a new album.  Here’s a great example of an awesome 80’s band leveraging 21st century technology.

The Spud boys have always understood how to leverage themselves and their message through great marketing. With the launch of their first album in 20 years, they recently created focus groups . Of the many things they surveyed, one question asked respondents to choose which songs should go on the album. Another question asked, “What color [of power domes] makes this musical group feel more effective?” They embraced current feedback and have now relaunched themselves. You’ll see their stuff on all the mainstream social networks you can think of.  Clearly this was their intention, as you’ll see in their tagline, “Devo is Everywhere.” Fitting that as the band who espouses futuristic predictions, they would be the ones to embrace new technology. Check out this tongue-and-cheek  video chronicling their relaunch campaign. It’s as unique as Devo.

 

Even my 3 year old daugher is a fan of Devo since they are featured on one of her favorite shows, Nickolodeon’s Yo Gabba Gabba!

I’m so excited about their comeback, I know what I’m going to be for Halloween already!

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Odd Ideas That May Make Sense… From Email Campaign Monitor

Thursday, 14. October 2010 by Anna Billstrom

I’m a bit late to this article written in April, but it’s a goodie: Four odd email ideas that (maybe) make sense, by Mark Brownlow. What strikes me about this post, is that we really have to question common ideas and “best practices,” as sometimes they may be a way to get through the chatter and present our message to the right audience, at the right time, with the right content.

One addendum I’d like to add, to the mobile discussion on his post: this is yet another reason to include some meaty text-only content in your email. Mobile readers doing triage will be able to tell quickly what it is about, so they can read it at more leisure on their desktop or laptop. But if you have an image-only message, and no alt-text or copy, they’re going to hit the trash button before the image even finishes loading.

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User-Generated Content

Tuesday, 12. October 2010 by Gavin Handley

People love to contribute content to their favorite brands and what better way for your company to connect with consumers? With the social media explosion in marketing it is advantageous for companies to use user-generated content in their marketing and loyalty programs.

Back in 2008 I came up with the idea of using customer submitted photos for an email programKodak Moment of the Month” after the success of the staff photo slideshow in our newsletter. It was time to take the concept a step further and the program was born. This program of course did not come without its challenges and I will go into that later in the post. But the results made it all worth it – the  response was overwhelmingly positive. I learned quickly that people love to show off their photography skills! Check out John Harrisons’ post on user-generated content and the “Kodak Moment of the Month.”

Kodak Recently launched a site celebrating your Kodak Moments, user images and video, “ The real Kodak Moment happens when you share.” Disney Parks  launched last month a new site dedicated to fan content very similar to Kodak Moments, in which  you can share your photos, videos and stories from your trips to Disney Parks. One nice feature is that you can also categorize the content by theme, location and the emotion. Check out this post on Mashable, on Disney’s “Let the Memories Begin” campaign.

A few things to consider if you are building out a user-generated marketing program, depending on the size of your company it will take a lot of work to manage all that content, so make sure you have the resources and have a clear goal on how you want to engage your customers and use the content now and in the future. Try to be as specific as you can when you request content,  trust me it will help you out tremendously to receive more relevant content. Copyright is always a concern in the digital age so consider all avenues when creating your Terms and Conditions. This content is also a great opportunity to index your site with this rich content and optimize for SEO.

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iPhone App Marketing- Measures and Metrics

Saturday, 09. October 2010 by Anna Billstrom

I’m a huge fan of metrics, probably from 7 years doing email marketing and countless meetings staring up at an Excel spreadsheet, seeing lift in unexpected places, testing, and getting great results. I’ve seen it work- I drink the Kool-Aid.

In the iPhone world, we’re hamstrung by metrics that are limited and unserviceable. The iTunesConnect app gives us sales information, but as all marketers know, that’s the end game, not the funnel.

I’m going to implement a few test suites and write them up on this blog- this is more an announcement of an effort than any real juice (sorry readers). The test suites:

- MixPanel
- Flurry

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iPhone App Marketing: Getting Visible

Friday, 08. October 2010 by Anna Billstrom

In the space of the last 24 hours, two different friends of mine asked, with hints of horror and mystery, “How do poeple *find* your iPhone app?” To the uninitiated, it seems like a big black box. In reality, it’s not too different from other internet marketing efforts.

The issue with iPhone apps is – obviously – the iTunes store. It’s a strength and a weakness. Strength, because consumers go 1 place to get the product. Weakness, because we, as developers and marketers, are at the whim of single, isolated metrics.

Three major areas- number of downloads, number and nature of reviews, average rating, and keywords- are the backbone to the iTunes store formula. But then there’s other more nebulous and vague areas, that are familiar to the seasoned marketer.

- Word of mouth
- Niche*
- Blogs/Social Networks (Twitter/Facebook)
- Name recognition
- Journalism, reviews, editor’s picks, etc.

The goals of the efforts above:
1) the iPhone app name recognition
2) Access and actionable clicks to the download page
3) Written reviews including ratings.

*Niche: friend’s soccer stats app came out when there were no soccer stats app in the store, and World Cup was just beginning. Also, he had translation efforts and a quick release. The competitive space in the iTunes store is arguably smaller than other markets and so it’d be irresponsible to notice that marketing is a non-issue with niche apps.

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