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7 Massive Marketing Mistakes GUARANTEED To Even Kill Killer Apps

Editors Note: I received this submission, and I was reluctant to look at it since there seems to be a flood of marketers trying to cash in as app marketing experts.   I decided to accept this one as it is somewhat different, and didn’t simply provide a simplistic list of tips such as take good screenshots, start a blog, or sell internationally.  Please comment on whether you’d like to see more content on app marketing in the future. – John

In my time working with software developers I’ve been able to pick up on some common mistakes that ultimately lead to lower sales or even bankruptcy.  Accept them as the ultimate truth or accept failure.  The choice is yours.

1.    Not accepting that it is all about money. Money is the measure for app success. It doesn’t matter if your app gets rave reviews, a million free downloads, or iPhone and iPad users love it.  What matters is that it makes money.  Even if you’re just branding or building a portfolio.  If it doesn’t make money in the end then what was the point?

2.    Thinking app store sales are the only way to succeed. There are many possible business models. Look around, you’ll see many businesses making money from iPhone apps that aren’t even selling them.

3.    Misunderstanding the importance of marketing. Marketing is at least as important as development. If you don’t believe that then you haven’t been watching the app store very closely.

4.    Not building anticipation for your app. You want to hit Apple’s top download lists, and the easiest time to do that is when your app is first released.  Copy the techniques of those having multiple successes in the app store.

5.    Not doing any of the marketing legwork. Many developers seem willing to spend thousands of hours on an app, yet none on marketing. You know you have to leverage social media, find good keywords, send your app to reviewers, take good screenshots, create a video, do some market testing, defining your market, finding your purple cow… but are you doing it?

6.    Not being willing to spend any money. The $99 that you pay Apple to join their development program is not going to cut it as a marketing budget. If you’ve got an app making money try reinvesting some of it in one of the many ways such as ads in other apps, search ads, ads on app review websites.

7.    Not tracking advertising results. Advertising an app is all about selling. I have seen developers burn their marketing budget on ineffective ads that they have no clue whether they are working or not.

How many of these mistakes are you making? Agree or disagree on the importance of marketing?  Discuss.

Ed has been marketing software for nearly 15 years, and has recently turned to iPhone and iPad app marketing.  For now you can follow Ed Wang on twitter.  In the future he will be providing more information on iPhone app marketing.

9 replies on “7 Massive Marketing Mistakes GUARANTEED To Even Kill Killer Apps”

Re: #7

As I understand it, once customers enter the app store, we stop being able to track them. So we can’t track whether or not purchases are directly linked to an ad clickthrough. Am I mistaken or what are some other ways to track the effectiveness of advertising?
.-= Derek´s last blog ..Poptweets Submitted to the App Store =-.

Re: #7

As I understand it, once customers enter the app store, we stop being able to track them. So we can’t track whether or not purchases are directly linked to an ad clickthrough. Am I mistaken or what are some other ways to track the effectiveness of advertising?
.-= Derek´s last blog ..Poptweets Submitted to the App Store =-.

Re: #7

As I understand it, once customers enter the app store, we stop being able to track them. So we can’t track whether or not purchases are directly linked to an ad clickthrough. Am I mistaken or what are some other ways to track the effectiveness of advertising?
.-= Derek´s last blog ..Poptweets Submitted to the App Store =-.

Hi Derek,

Correct you cannot directly track where an iTunes or iTunes.com download originated from. However, what you can do is track how many visitors a paid ad is sending through to your iTunes page.

This can be done through a URL forwarding script if the service you are advertising through does not provide it’s own tracking.

This should allow you to do a comparative analysis of the effectiveness of your paid ads. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than not knowing at all how many visitors an ad could be sending. If there is a site that charges for reviews, and refuses to use your tracking link then I would no longer use that site.

One thing I would make sure of though is to have the paid ad forward through to your iTunes page as opposed to your own website wherever possible.

Hi Derek,

Correct you cannot directly track where an iTunes or iTunes.com download originated from. However, what you can do is track how many visitors a paid ad is sending through to your iTunes page.

This can be done through a URL forwarding script if the service you are advertising through does not provide it’s own tracking.

This should allow you to do a comparative analysis of the effectiveness of your paid ads. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than not knowing at all how many visitors an ad could be sending. If there is a site that charges for reviews, and refuses to use your tracking link then I would no longer use that site.

One thing I would make sure of though is to have the paid ad forward through to your iTunes page as opposed to your own website wherever possible.

Hi Derek,

Correct you cannot directly track where an iTunes or iTunes.com download originated from. However, what you can do is track how many visitors a paid ad is sending through to your iTunes page.

This can be done through a URL forwarding script if the service you are advertising through does not provide it’s own tracking.

This should allow you to do a comparative analysis of the effectiveness of your paid ads. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than not knowing at all how many visitors an ad could be sending. If there is a site that charges for reviews, and refuses to use your tracking link then I would no longer use that site.

One thing I would make sure of though is to have the paid ad forward through to your iTunes page as opposed to your own website wherever possible.

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