For success, you need a great app AND money for marketing

May 4, 2012

Just in case anybody still thought just a great iOS or Android app would get you tons of downloads and lots of money: no it won’t. If you want success for your app, you need to market it and that will cost money.

As this nice infographic from shows, top earners spend an average of 14% on marketing and have an average marketing budget of $30,000 dollars. Yes, that means it is really hard to make money if you are a small team with no cash in the bank. But with so many apps out there and the iTunes and Play store not really facilitating discovery, you need to get your customers attention somewhere else.

So how can you do app marketing?



Edit 1: also very interesting thread on Hackernews about a story written on Ars Technical about this infographic.


Dirk de Kok


4 responses to For success, you need a great app AND money for marketing

  1. I think this infographic is too much focused on the top earners. You don’t have to be a top earner to succeed.
    Okay, maybe 59% don’t even break even. But I don’t see how this is special for the mobile app market. Doesn’t the same hold for the desktop software world, on the web-apps market? Or any business for that matter?

    About app promotion: what about good old SEO? With the App Store becoming more and more useless as a way to find good apps, many users are turning to Google to find what they want.

    BTW: I hate the term “marketing budget”… I am surprised that in 2012, online marketers still use the word “budget” or think of marketing money in terms of percentage of the revenue.
    IMO: in the online world, there should be no marketing budget. Spend as much marketing money as you want, *as long as the marketing generates more money than it costs*. The key is tracking.

    As long as every dollar you spend on marketing generates $1.01 in revenue, there should be no ceiling.

  2. As we discussed before, you are right that as shows, you don’t have to be in a top 25 to get decent revenue out of mobile apps. But that takes time. As you said SEO is important then so that means having a sizable online present, blogs that write about you, preferably already products and apps out there with existing users that you can sell to.

    And yes with spending money on marketing, that is also an art. Trial and error, see what works for you specific users and what not. And in the end the netto result should be positive. So finding out your customer lifetime value (CLV) is very important, as your amount of money you spend on acquiring a user should be less:). Just buying ads for $30,000 is not gonna work, you have to be smart.

  3. Forget, I am not talking about my own products or apps.

    Just saying that there are many developers out there that make a decent living selling mobile apps (developers the cool app review sites have never heard of). Especially if you’re a single guy company, this is very possible.

  4. Almost everyone is complaining how advertising doesn’t work in the mobile app industry. Basically the common comment is the increase of app sales due to advertising doesn’t cover the cost of the advertising. At iLifeTouch we actually want to start advertising now before Xmas. See how it goes.