Marketing Your App or Mobile Game

I love to learn, but I also love to share. One of the best parts of my love for marketing is helping friends out, who may have a completely different domain expertise (they often have lot’s of insights to listen to from a different point of view, even when asking for advice). This morning I spoke with an Android developer in Portugal, whom is a best friend from home to a former room mate (yes, the digital universe makes the world much much smaller), who recently launched an Android app for system monitoring and is about to develop a game. We have never met in person, although we connected over a game design book that we both referenced in an introduction email. Below is a G chat conversation we had on how he could get started marketing his app or game. I figured it might be helpful to some of my readers who may also be developers looking to launch an app and need some marketing advice to publish our conversation. After all, one day, I may have an Android SDK problem that I need the favor in return for — just saying, it could happen.

Christian: Have a question about marketing.
I’ve been watching some videos from the guys at Google, about marketing apps
that say that one of the most effective ways of marketing apps is through mobile advertising
Do you agree?

I mean.. Everyone ignores ads, right?
Sent at 9:43 AM on Wednesday

Me: I would agree with mobile advertising being effective.
If I were to market an app, I would look at Admob through Google Adwords as a major tactic to explore.
Simple to start and you have a lot of control.
Also, there are some game marketing platforms out there that market through mobile advertising.
I heard about one yesterday actually…that I am failing to remember now.
Christian: hmm but is a big budget needed in order to get some results?

Classic marketing fallacy that still exists even among marketing execs.

Me: Nope, certainly not.
It is always about marketing mix.
You will likely want to do some paid acquisition through admob and other platforms,
but you certainly don’t need to.
Other tactics:
1) Press – write killer data driven pitches for big journalists. Also, send out personalized pitches to bloggers to write and review your game. Make connections with influencers in the industry that reach your target audience.
2) Make the app inherently viral. Bake it in. Words with Friends, What’s That Phrase, Farmville and the list goes on, in and outside Zynga of games, that are shared in order to play (for the most part).
How can you convert your users into evangelists with as little friction as possible?

Christian: sorry, I don’t understand some of things you wrote (my english still needs improvement)
killer data driven pitches?
Me: Happy to explain.
When you pitch a large journalist for a major publication, you want to provide them something of value
No journalist wants to write about “your cool game”.
They want to know what is going on in the industry that only you would have unique insights into from your angle? What story can you tell that is captivating and enchanting about you and your game? What information do you have that a journalist would need for a great story (where you would be quoted or your game would be mentioned)?

Christian: Oh I see, totally makes sense.
so, take a day or two to really think about the perfect text.

Sent at 9:56 AM on Wednesday
Christian: And what about “users into evangelists with as little friction as possible” ?

Me: You bet, so making a great game that people talk about is technically turning users into evangelists. Although, it is not enough anymore. Give your users reason to share.
For Words with Friends, you have to have friends to play, or at least it is more fun with friends.
How can you make your game more fun with friends?
– “Invite friends” functionality
– ‘See which one of your friends scored higher than me’ or ‘Pick a friend to challenge’
What type of game play can be social and attract you to invite friends?
What about the game makes people talk about the game?
These are the questions you want to ask yourself when designing for a social game that is meant to be shared.
Christian: ok I get it, super info !

Sent at 10:03 AM on Wednesday
Christian: copy/pasting and saving to file
Sent at 10:05 AM on Wednesday
Christian: well, just set up an admob campaign for my app, to give it a try
I’m really curious

I love this instant execution. Can all people be this awesome!

Sent at 10:08 AM on Wednesday
Me: Awesome! Let me know the results
I would be super curious what your cost per click and cost per acquisition come to.
I would also send some pitches to blogs that write about apps, etc
Get great pitch examples through

ok, in case you’re interested about the details of the campaign:
– Total budget: 150$
– Max budget/day: 25$
– Bid price $0.01
– Min Android version: 4.1 (I think users with the most recent version will also be willing to spend more money)
– Geography: USA (40% of my users come from USA and are more willing to pay)
– Demographics: Male users (99% of people that reach to me are guys)
– Age groups: 18 – 64

More from the campaign when results are in. Hope this conversation was helpful. Not gloating about my knowledge, just making some info public that I happen to have experimented with and seen work. Also, please not that there are a lot of other effective tactics not mentioned in here. Until next time!

– Jenna


The Influence of Android: A Look at the Numbers

Taken from my work for the BNOTIONS blog, where I am currently Director of Marketing

Android OS

“Android OS leads with 64% market share,” announces Tech News Today on August 14th, 2012. A major shift in the past few months towards Android dominance has been led by the wait for iPhone 5, but as well the breadth of new devices using the Android OS. Devices with Android operating systems sold 98,529 units (in thousands) in Q2 of 2012 “with an increase of 20.7 percent points in market share in Q2 2012,” reports Tech2. On the flip side RIM has seen a decrease in OS market share as well as Symbian. Both Bada and Microsoft have seen very slight increases ranging in the 1-2% range from 2011 to 2012.


Chart showing December OS use in 2011.

Chart showing February 2012.

Android OS Drilldown

Stats from Google I/O 2012

Google I/O annnounced some important Milestones for Android last month:

  • Total Android activations have risen from 100 million to 400 million devices.
  • 1 million Android devices are activated every day, about 12 devices a second.
  • Android activations abroad are growing rapidly; in developing markets adoption grew around 500% in the last year.
  • There have been 20 billion app installs across Google Play, the company’s marketplace for games and apps.
  • There are now 600,000 games and apps available on Google Play.
  • A year after launch, in-app billing accounts for 50% of revenue for developers using Google Play.

Why AndroidTO

If the numbers have not convinced you to take a closer look at Android, we hope we can help. The annual AndroidTO conference in being help on October 25th, at the Scotiabank Theatre in downtown Toronto. It prides itself as an event that focuses on educating developers, designers and everyone in between on all things Android. Just a casual Android OS user, there is a world of knowledge and insights for you, you quickly see why the stats above are relevant in today’s mobile ecosystem. There will be 3 tracks this year (Designer, Developer and the Business of Mobile) with some amazing talent lined up to keep us all entertained while providing some invaluable knowledge. Last year AndroidTO attracted over 800 attendees who were thrilled to take part in the largest gathering of its kind in Canada. There were great sessions, tons of new devices to see and play with as well as some great networking opportunities that led to the start of great friendships.

If you are as excited as we are to see what AndroidTO has in store, head on over to and have a look at some of the speakers and topics we’ve help put together. Keep an eye on the website as we are constantly updating it with new information about speakers and schedule. You can still buy “Early Bird” tickets before September 3rd, through Atendy  – buy tickets.

Jenna Hannon | Director of Marketing | @JennaHannon

© Copyright 2013, All Rights Reserved Jenna Hannon