distribution

On AppStore Search Ranking Algorithms

I just got back from a four day scout camping adventure with my son. It was nice to get away from technology for a while, but while I was gone, Apple changed their AppStore search algorithm! Our sales dropped by at least $30/day, which may not seem like a lot, but it adds up to $900/month, which is a major drop in income for a family trying to make a living off of the AppStore.

Tackling Distribution Channels—Which Place? Applying the 4 P's of Marketing to Apps, Part 2b

Because the AppStore is the only store that we are allowed to actually sell our iOS apps directly, many developers choose to only list their products in the AppStore. However, by doing so, a developer has ignored many distribution channels where an app can be marketed. In addition, if a mobile developer is on a different platform, many app stores exist for which to list apps. In my last post I covered designing the shelf space of the Place “P” of marketing. In this post I'll suggest various first tier (app stores) and second tier distribution channels in which to target the Place application of marketing.

Distribution is the Place! Defining your Shelf Space—Applying the 4 P's of Marketing to Apps, Part 2a

The structured approach to marketing should appeal to most technical people. Marketing can seem like a magical black box, but the 4 P's: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place (aka distribution) are what's inside. The best marketing plan can be broken down and addressed in each area. Let's tackle Place—anywhere your app has a virtual space on a shelf, with a link to buy. Foremost is the AppStore, but it's not the only Place. Place is everywhere your product is listed from your website, aggregate app listing websites, and perhaps inside app-listing-apps. Free apps have additional areas where they can be listed, such as the free app a day sites. If you develop for other mobile platforms, place includes other paid storefronts. In my last blog post I covered Product; this post will move onto Place, which is essentially the distribution channels and your virtual “shelf space” within them. Because a lot of details can be covered concerning Place, I'm going to divide this topic into two posts, shelf space and channels. “Shelf space” will describe how to apply marketing to the design of your app's presentation in a single distribution channel. “Channels” will cover applying your shelf space across multiple distribution channels, discussing your varying options.

App Stores, Then and Now, a Distribution Evolution

The AppStore to some, seems like a new phenomenon, but Electronic Sales Distributors (ESD's) have been around a long time. Selling software has evolved tremendously over the years and has helped make sales easier to complete. In the case of the AppStore, distribution has pretty much been taken out of the equation in how it can negatively affect sales. We've been writing mobile software since 1999, and writing it as Creative Algorithms since 2003. This post will explain how distribution and sales have evolved over the past decade, through our personal experiences.

We Can Always Go Back to the Old Way of Distributing Software

Yes, the AppStore review system is archaic and out of our control. Yes, the discoverability is frustrating and when the store breaks, we're out of luck. But would you really want to go back to the 'old way' of distributing mobile software? Let's look at what the AppStore fixed in terms of mobile software distribution.

The App Bandwagon

It looks like everyone is joining the wave of application stores on-device after the success of Apple's iPhone AppStore. Hopefully this new trend will help promote mobile applications as a whole. I'm still waiting for those 2 million Centro users to discover software on the Palm OS platform. ;-)

Android Market - Google's Answer to AppStore?

Google recently announced on their blog how they intend to promote Apps for the Android operating system. The "store" will be referred to as the "Android Market" which will be more of a repository, or archive, of applications available for the platform. They did not spell out how commerce will be accomplished--just that free apps (and maybe free demos?) will expect support for now, with more decisions to be made later. This news is welcomed by developers who are frustrated with the semi-closed nature of the AppStore, but does pose some critical issues in its deployment. In this post, I will compare and contrast some of the positives and negatives of the Android Market (as it has been announced), the AppStore, and the current existing smartphone application distribution system.

What Would Make the AppStore Perfect

This past week we finally experienced the opening of the much touted Apple AppStore for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch. The AppStore does a lot of things right that developers have been clamoring for: it puts software right in front of every iPhone consumer, it makes it super easy to purchase and install apps, and it makes the whole process accessible for the majority of developers (no more carrier intervention, for example). However, the AppStore is like any piece of 1.0 software—it has it's 'bugs' and exploitations that can only be discovered by massive usage and adoption. This post will note a few areas of needed improvement.

The ESD Equation - Marketing Mobile Software – Part I, Distribution (Place)

Does it make sense to distribute your mobile software via the Electronic Software Distributors (ESD's)? Are the commissions too high to be worthwhile? Can listing be a win-win situation? Many blogs and developers have vented frustrations about commission rate increases at the ESD's, typically those run by Handango and Motricity. In some cases, commissions and fees have doubled from 25% to over 50% in the past five years. Many developers have packed their bags and delisted. Others refuse to start listing. On an emotional and moral principled level, not listing may be the right choice. But does it make sense from a business standpoint? Can we quantify the effects of listing, not listing, and the commission hikes? This post will discuss the numbers as related to increasing sales by using (or not) the ESD as a distribution and promotional tool.

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