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100k apps: don’t complain, get a brain, and develop a marketing strategy thats insane(ly great)

November 4th, 2009 Jeremy Jeremy

ReadWriteWeb, one of my favorite tech blogs, recently picked up on Appfire’s observation that 80% of the 100k apps on the app store have hardly any installs.

I’m getting tired of the whining: “Why do so few of the apps get all the attention? Its just not fair!” I’m no Apple fanboy but I think developers are shooting themselves in the foot by blaming Apple for this.

I commented on RWW’s post and repeat here:

How can you expect Apple to get all 100,000 apps in front of user’s eyes? In my opinion, Apple is doing a decent job at showcasing some of the best apps.

What do we developers expect Apple to do? Make the home page one huge list of 100,000 random apps so that every body has equal attention? The takeaway from this shouldn’t be to blame Apple but to realize that the app store has changed: its not a marketing platform anymore (like it was when there were only a few thousand apps), its a distribution platform. Sorry.

If you want to get noticed these days, don’t bet on the app store. Get creative. Market your app like you would any other product. There are free, time consuming venues (Twitter, Blogging, Facebook, getting your app reviewed on prominent websites, etc.) and there are more traditional, expensive venues (namely, advertising). There are also creative combinations. I am about to implement a marketing strategy that involves a contest that would attract my target market, Facebook (via web and integrated with the app) to get free exposure while providing value, a beta test to get people talking, and blogging/Twitter to build buzz in the developer/tech community and open key connections. Though I’m still in the early stages, its been working very well. I’ll be blogging my progress as I go.

Don’t complain, get a brain, and develop a marketing strategy thats insane(ly great).

I’ll be detailing the marketing strategy I eluded to. Later.

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