App Discovery: An All-Too-Familiar “Industry” Feeling

April 6, 2011

mobile, app, iphone, ipad, app store

As the world of mobile explodes, the competition to get noticed is heating up. With millions of apps across multiple app stores, publishers are finding it increasingly challenging to get noticed.

Media outlets with deep pockets are pouring big money into advertising their apps whether in print, web or on mobile devices.  The race for exposure is an expensive one, placing an even greater emphasis on offering unique content.

Mobile Marketing Watch, a site that analyzes the mobile community, found that nearly one-third (34%) of mobile users now spend at least one full hour engrossed in their favorite apps on a daily basis. This is remarkable because 49% of inpiduals are spending the same amount of the day watching television.

As the gap between app viewing and TV viewing continues to narrow, and technologies like AirPlay dramatically change the distribution of media, developing a winning mobile strategy is a priority for media companies.

A study by the global open app store, Get Jar, an independent store that sells apps for any platform, recently shared some startling information into the world of app discovery.  

The study found that only 25% of people discover apps they are actually looking for using the app store. The other 75% find apps either browsing online (50%) or through social media and friends’ recommendations (25%.)  

In a blog by Clan O’Sullivan entitled ‘App Stores Are The Worst Way To Market Your App,’ strategic mobile news site GoMo News points out how app discovery continues to plague publishers.

O’Sullivan explains that ‘It really reinforces that idea that application stores are pretty much the worst way to sell your app; they almost immediately sink in the ocean of other apps.’

With the amount of mobile applications now in the millions, that ‘ocean’ appears to be getting deeper and deeper.  Word of mouth and social media marketing are important players in cutting through the clutter of app stores.

The findings resemble a type of clutter that we see in the world of traditional advertising world  (i.e. print, radio, and TV) for brands. Just like a greater weight is being placed upon viral, social, and word of mouth marketing, mobile app marketers should focus on those strategies as well.  

If the past 5 years of traditional advertising have taught us anything, it’s that brands sticking solely to that formula could get left behind.