Apsalar, in close partnership with one of our key investors, Thomvest Ventures, recently fielded a quantitative survey to find out more about what marketers are thinking and doing as we finish out 2016 and head into next year. The quantitative industry survey, conducted in July and August, asked mobile app marketers from around the world about their teams, challenges, and opinions on the key issues facing our fast-growing industry.
The impetus for this project was to address the lack of industry-level data on app marketing behaviors and trends. As part of our mission to help grow the app space, we developed and fielded this mobile marketing survey research to give marketing leaders a sense of peer perspective on the questions that they are facing.
In all, about 150 marketers agreed to participate, 50% in the US and 50% from other regions around the world. We invited both brand-side marketers and agency folks to participate. Here’s a capsule profile of our respondents:
This is the first of six posts outlining some of the key findings in the research, and what we think they mean. This first post will reveal insights about marketers’ self-assessments, perspective on their teams, and information on what they view as their key challenges.
Marketer Profile: Pioneers in a Dynamic Environment
We asked respondents how long they have been mobile app marketing, and the answers were truly eye-opening. Fully 80% of those surveyed said they had been involved for less than five years. While app marketing is a relatively new discipline, its challenges are unique, and its marketing leaders are rapidly experimenting and developing best practices “on the fly.” That so many are so successful is a testament to the strength and passion of app business leaders.
At the same time, these marketers generally don’t rate themselves as experts, though they do call themselves “very knowledgeable.”
This is likely because app marketing mastery is a moving target, with new strategies and tactics to learn every month. It’s hard to think of yourself as an expert when “the rules” evolve constantly.
Big Goals – Small Teams
App marketing teams tend to be quite compact, despite the growing role that apps play in the overall revenue mix for many companies. Among our respondents, 64% say that their teams are composed of five people or fewer.
These small groups of marketing pros need to compete in an increasingly crowded and cutthroat environment world. A full 67% say that the cost to drive installs is increasing, and 65% say it is getting more difficult to drive an install.
Finally, most told us they actively use several types of marketing platforms. Marketers say they need such tools to drive best performance and optimization. Most popular are in-app analytics and app attribution tools, and many also report either already using or planning on using app store optimization (ASO) products in 2017.
Automation tools are in use by just over a third of our surveyed marketers, with very strong growth in penetration expected in the next 12 months.
Part of a Broader Marketing Trend
Data-driven marketing is becoming the norm in many areas of marketing, of course, and the performance-oriented characteristics of many app strategies reinforce the need for great marketing and user insights in this fast-growing field.
Recently, Apsalar conducted some additional analysis that underscored this trend. Specifically, data show that our clients are now spending 62% more time conducting analysis in their instances of Apsalar Attribution, and are tracking about 58% more events, on average than just one year ago. Tracking lots of event types is critical for marketers to develop a granular understanding of their user quality.
Tomorrow: Part 2 – The Business Measures of App Marketing