Preloaded Apps: Cutting Through the Noise of Holiday Marketing

Nov 02, 2017
By: Marissa Camilli

Yes, the mobile industry might boom during the holidays but so does the competition for app downloads and engagement – and this potentially makes the business of winning new users an expensive one.

You’d also be forgiven for believing that when competition is this fierce, there are very few level playing fields where businesses of all shapes and sizes can compete fairly and as a result, the dominant brands with the biggest marketing budgets will simply own their categories.

However, we know that this high cost approach to marketing is far from sophisticated – it’s like using a sledge hammer to crack a nut. Needless to say, with insane acquisition costs and no guarantees regarding customer lifetime value – there are a lot of expensive mistakes made (and busy fools outed) during the holidays.

But stick around – there is still plenty of room to negotiate a significant and profitable slice of the holiday marketing pie, if you play a smarter game.

But first, let’s focus on the size of the opportunity.

The Holiday Opportunity

When you consider the size of the opportunity during the holiday season – you’ll appreciate why it’s so important that your marketing activities hit the right spot at the right price.

  • With global consumers buying more than 432 million devices in the last 3 months of 2016, smartphone manufacturers saw nearly one-third of the annual sales in the run up to the holidays.
  • Mobile e-commerce accounted for $17.12 billion in sales over the holiday shopping period in 2016 – an increase of more than $5 billion on the previous year.

To put it simply, this means that there are a lot of new devices in people’s hands in the run up to the holidays and consumers aren’t afraid to put them to good use. It doesn’t matter how your app is monetized (regardless of whether you rely on in-app advertising, in-app purchases or more traditional mobile eCommerce), if you can get people to download and engage with your app during the holiday period, the opportunities to drive revenues will be more than significant.

Cutting through the Noise

So how does an app developer or marketer cut through all the noise created by “big brand budgets” in the run up to the holidays?

You could spend time and money carefully optimizing your Google Play Store listings in the hope that quality will shine through all the competition and your app will be positioned favorably. However this strategy is flawed for three very good reasons.

  1. No Hope: Hope is not a legitimate business strategy you should rely on.
  2. Digital Landfill: With more than 2,500 new apps added to the Play Store every day, even the most highly optimized app listing has a very good chance of being buried in what is essentially a digital landfill.
  3. Zero Downloads: 51 percent of smartphone users will not typically download any apps over the period of a month. Only 5 percent of owners will download eight or more apps per month. While the world is undoubtedly addicted to their smartphones – for many people app discoverability begins and ends with the unboxing of the device.

Subtle, Sophisticated and Affordable

Preloading apps is a more subtle and sophisticated approach to driving app discoverability and engagement. The premise is simple, if an app comes preloaded on a device and it is relevant to the users’ needs – it stands a far greater chance of being used at least once.

Note: Only the quality of your product will ensure engagement beyond the first use.

Success via a preloaded app strategy is not governed primarily by the size of your budget. While “premium” inventory (on devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8) is in demand and therefore more expensive, app developers and marketers have many other devices to choose from with user bases that can match their preloads to specific devices, and geographies for optimum effect.

This means, developers’ objectives can be carefully costed and outcomes more efficiently planned for. Because preloading enables developers and marketers to target specific audiences at the point of maximum engagement opportunity, it takes a lot of the guesswork out of campaign planning.

At Digital Turbine, our account managers work closely with the device manufacturers, mobile networks and app developers and marketers to ensure their products reach the right people at the right time. We will always strive to deliver the best possible deal in terms of cost per engagement and highlight opportunities that might not be so obvious.

Note: When targeting certain audiences, the cost of engagement drops significantly when you know what devices and networks your target audience uses. Better targeting guarantees greater efficiency in your marketing spend and helps you deliver more sustainable and therefore profitable results.

Scream Louder or Talk Smarter

With so much marketing noise in the run up to the holidays you essentially have two choices – scream louder or talk smarter.

Scream too loud and you will inevitably lose your voice before the festivities are over. Talk smarter and you may well have something to celebrate long into the New Year.

Start a smart conversation with an advisor at Digital Turbine today about preloading your apps on targeted devices and networks.

Contact us now to start the conversation.

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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