App Marketing in the New Normal

May 22, 2020
By: Marissa Camilli

One of the things we love about working in the Android ecosystem is the egalitarian nature of the business. Android powers an incredible range of devices, from low-cost entry-level smartphones through to incredibly powerful devices — the word smartphone doesn’t really do these pocket-sized computers systems that do so many things justice.

Android devices create opportunities for more people, regardless of income, education, age, geographic location, or many other factors to access an incredible suite of software applications (apps) to make their lives better.

For many people, Android devices have enabled them to connect to digital services for the first time. For these people, the Internet isn’t something that happens on the PC or laptop. It’s available in the palm of their hands and on an Android-powered smartphone.

Other smartphone operating systems are available but these are typically only marketed and sold to a demographic that can afford to buy them — but as we have reported this doesn’t mean they are superior products.

Further Reading:  Android Smartphones – Bigger, Better, Smarter than Apple

Of course, as great admirers of the technology, we always want to look at the premium end of the market. This is because we love working (playing) with cutting-edge technology and are constantly amazed at just how fast and smart these devices have become. If we thought they were magic a decade or so ago, surely they are basing the latest models on some sort of alien technology.

But the real reason why we get so excited by the premium models is that we know that all those crazy features will trickle down onto the mid-range and latterly low-cost devices in a matter of months and it’s these devices that really lead the market in terms of penetration.

COVID-19: The Era of the Post-Premium Device

The global COVID-19 pandemic has clearly turned a lot of consumers’ attention away from those devices that, even when times were good, would be a considered purchase.

It’s not that people don’t want to buy premium devices. It’s more that those purchases, along with the annual family vacation or a new car can wait until either later in the year or even 2021 when we have some idea of how things are going to pan out regarding the economy and jobs.

It should, therefore, be not entirely surprising that this year’s run-a-way success in terms of smartphone sales is the more keenly-priced Samsung A51, closely followed by the Xiaomi Redmi 8.

The A51 accounted for a 2.3% share of all smartphones sales globally in Q1 and is particularly popular across Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, the Redmi 8 took a 1.9% market share and sells very well in India and China

Both of these devices fall into a range that we will call “affordable”. While they lack many of the latest features the premium devices boast, they are still incredibly solid and reliable platforms and a long way away from the $20 supermarket devices which (in some cases) push the boundaries of “smart”.

What Does This Mean for App Developers?

Just because consumers are currently focusing their buying habits on lower-priced devices doesn’t mean that there isn’t a great opportunity for app developers to reach a lucrative audience. It just means that that audience might not be where you usually expect them to be.

In times of crisis, the most successful businesses will adapt to the new normal in order to survive and thrive.

There are three main takeaways app developers can take from this news that affordable devices are dominating the market:

  1. Premium Positioning: Lower-spec devices have less available space to host multiple apps. This may restrict the number of apps downloaded from a marketplace like the Google Play Store. Anything you can do to secure the placement of your app on a device should be encouraged. A strategy of pre-loading your app on a specific device or network so that it is available from the moment of device activation will dramatically improve your chances of engagement.
  2. Global Opportunities: The Android marketplace is a global opportunity. In times of crisis, opportunity often comes from new markets beyond your horizons. If devices are selling well in Asian, Latin American or European markets, these are the markets you should be targeting.
  3. Revenue, Revenue, Revenue: A dollar saved is a dollar earned. In times of uncertainty, you’ll want to make sure your marketing budget is being spent as efficiently as possible. You’ll also want to safeguard your app marketing strategy from any potential fraud.  

Digital Turbine can help you explore new markets, guarantee app visibility, and help protect and drive revenues in these uncertain times. Call now to speak with one of our app marketing experts.

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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