Why Developers Are Not Happy with App Marketing?


A survey conducted by Beijing-based Papaya Mobile revealed that over 70 percent of developers are not happy with their current options for app marketing and advertising. The survey was conducted among 1022 developers, big, medium and small, to get perspective on the state of mobile app promotion and monetization. Moreover, most developers don’t trust ad network providers, and also don’t have a clear idea of the benefits of mobile marketing channels.

Let’s take a quick look at the survey results:

  1. Small developers are the most frustrated with app distribution at 72% versus large developers who are the least frustrated at 62%.
  2. Majority of app developers had tried mobile advertising to acquire customers. Medium sized developers used mobile advertising the most at 65%, large developers at 61%, and small developers at 50%.
  3. Small developers have the smallest allocated marketing budget with 88% having under $5,000, while medium sized developers have only 48% have allocated $5,000 or under.
  4. Mobile CPC (Cost per Click) is the most popular paid acquisition channel with 51%, 55%, and 58% for small, medium and large developers respectively.
  5. 57% of large developers said Trust is the biggest determining factor in choosing an ad provider, while it matters for 47% of small and medium developers.
  6. Small developers have the highest rate of dissatisfaction regarding value for money of acquiring customers, with 53% saying it was too expensive versus 33% of large developers.
  7. 70% of large developers manage their own campaigns, while for medium developers, it is 80%.
  8. Over 50% of all large, medium, and small developers have monetized their apps through ads.

Talking about the survey results, Si Shen, the chief executive of Papaya Mobile said,

“Developers instinctively gravitate towards big name ad networks and service providers in the belief that they can ‘trust’ these brands to offer an effective app marketing service. However, the fact that the vast majority of developers – especially smaller ones – are also unhappy with the results achieved relative to the cost suggests a gulf in expectations between themselves and the ad network providers.”

“To properly earn the trust of today’s cost-conscious developers, for whom meaningful results and a positive return on investment on their marketing investment are a priority, ad providers must be prepared to be more transparent with their app marketing offerings – especially around campaign planning, reporting, and measurement,” Shen added.

“App marketing is a big portion of development for mobile development,” says Kyt Dotson, DevOpsAngle editor. “As with any given market, advertising and monetization makes the literal backbone of business. The obvious impact here seems to affect small app developers moreso than big companies (who have their own advertising divisions anyway.)” For example, it’s better to use more than one monetization method to help balance out how intrusive the money making aspect can be into the mobile experience.

Dotson adds, “With their smaller form factor mobile apps also have less time and space to use advertising to monetize themselves, worse advertising to mobile users isn’t well understood yet–and someone running into an advertisement in an app may or may not want to follow it because it will interrupt their current session entirely (since most mobile devices do not multitask well.) As a result, users see advertisements as an annoyance rather than useful. Combining advertising with better metrics on what mobile users desire will probably not just increase interest and increase conversion alongside being less intrusive and more interesting.”