Amid Too Many Choices, App Consumers Rely on Word-of-Mouth Marketing
If you're like the average smartphone user, you have about 65 apps on your device. I could probably guess what some of them are — Angry Birds, Words With Friends, Yelp, Instagram. There are a few apps that most of us eventually download because they become so pervasive. How do those popular apps initially gain traction with overwhelmed consumers? And how do we decide the other 61 apps, on average, to download onto our phones? We ask our friends for advice.
Word-of-mouth marketing has always been powerful. In a marketplace awash in advertising, there's no more authentic influence than the voice of someone you know or trust. In the mobile world, that influence is outsized. So much of the activity we conduct on iPhones, Androids, iPads and other devices is social. The modern consumer is comfortable seeking and giving advice on everything from movies to restaurants to childcare to entertainment and information sources.
This should tell mobile application developers everything they need to know about dealing with the overcrowded apps market. There are approximately 60,000 new options delivered to app stores every month. That feels like bad news to developers, who might pour months of work into an app only to have it fall with a thud into a marketplace that never takes notice. Imagine what it feels like to consumers. They have 65 apps on their smartphones already. They use about 15 on a regular basis. And here comes another one — or another 60,000. How can they figure out whether they want the amazing one you designed? It's a lot easier if you help them figure it out.
The first way to do that, of course, is to make a great app. Your target customers have tens of thousands of choices, so your offering needs to be perfect. You might feel tempted to rush to market to try to get ahead of the competition. Don't do it. Having a great app isn't the only factor necessary for success in this market, but it is the most important one. You need to lay the infrastructure for a viral distribution inside your app while you're developing it in order to support marketing efforts later. For example, search for word-of-mouth tools that you can add into your app. This marketing tool will help your app gain traction in the overcrowded market.