Want to run from zombies while burning calories? There is an app for that. Yep, Zombies, Run! is a real application. At this point, there seems to be an app for everything. When the original iPhone came out in 2007, we were introduced to mobile applications as a form of entertainment and productivity. Entrepreneurs everywhere began to design new and unique applications. The novelty of these applications helped attract audiences and often times was enough to get consumers to download them.
Admit it, you downloaded FatBooth when it first came out. No advertisements were necessary at the time because there was nothing like it. Now multiple developers have created similar photo booth applications to grasp some of the market share. FatBooth creators, Pivi & Co., have even added AgingBooth, BaldBooth, MixBooth, UglyBooth, BoothStache, and other “Booth” applications to the app marketplace, which has caused their apps to compete with each other. Once a clever application has been created, other developers will create something similar to grasp a percentage of the market.
Developers can no longer depend on an application’s new features alone to convince customers to download it. Marketing has become increasingly important. With the current number of mobile applications reaching over 1.2 million for Apple’s iPhone and 1.3 million for Google’s Android phones, it is no wonder why brands need to increase their application marketing. Fisku has released statistics which show a rise in branding costs. In fact, from last October to June, the average Cost per Loyal User Index (CPLUI) has risen from $1.63 to $2.23. The CPLUI measures how much brands need to spend to acquire loyal customers.
In the past, big brands created applications to help with their branding process. People were interested in downloading applications developed by their favorite brands because the technology was new and interesting. However, consumer needs have evolved since 2007. Many applications that we found interesting six or seven years ago are not interesting anymore. We have also grown more skeptical of app downloads because of downloaded applications in the past that became dull, uninteresting, and repetitive after a short time. Basic productivity and entertainment are not enough anymore. Consumers want productive applications to be more efficient, and entertaining applications to be more social, and long lasting.
The main cause behind the increase in CPLUI is the dramatically increased competition between applications over the past seven years. With over a million applications available on iPhone and Android mobile devices, is there any subject or idea that has not been done? Type in banking, photo, or food and see how many applications come up. The competition between brands has also forced developers to find ways to make their current applications more innovative and user friendly.
Marketing for applications is still a relatively new process, which gives marketers opportunities to find creative ways to brand applications. Here are a few things to remember about today’s consumers. Streamlining the entire marketing process, from the advertising, to the product information, and finally to the download process helps increase efficiency. Novelty is great if you can find ways to keep it relevant and entertaining. If not, people will remove the application. Find out what your brand offers that other brands do not. As we mentioned in yesterday’s blog, state your unique selling proposition (USP).
If you think the CPLUI is high now, keep in mind that it is expected to rise over the next few years. As we become more and more application dependent, prices may rise dramatically. As older forms of advertising fade, marketing budgets and resource allocation are sure to effect the CPLUI as well.