mobile developers as kingmakers: its over

Nov 3

mobile developers as kingmakers: its over

Just over a month ago was a nice analysis from Mobile Attribution vendor Tapstream (via Andrew Chen). In this research they reported that:
in May 2013 an average app developer would retain about a quarter of their users a day after acquisition.

but to their horror in May 2014:

On average only 14% of users stuck around a day after downloading an app. That is less than one in seven users. Those are abysmal rates by any measure.

…and the bleak story continued with the figures equally poor for 7 day retention: “Day 7 retention went from a respectable 23% to a measly 10% in May 2014, while Day 30 retention plummeted from 14% to 2.3% – a full 84% decrease.”app user retention

So these are very interesting figures and I’ll soon write a post about how StreetHawk can pick up the attribution Tapstream handoff from acquisition to manage the user lifetime value (LTV). The benefit of this for the marketer is not merely to manage user segments but to also optimize which acquisition channel (advertising spend) yield great customers

I’m not sure about you but when I read industry articles: the comments are generally more informed than the article itself. On one of my favourite sites ( there was a killer comment from Joseph Bentzel of @platformula1:

2. The doctrine of ‘developers as the new kingmakers’ (O’Grady) is increasingly at end of life in mobile consumer markets. Without a product marketing process applied properly at the front end of the product development exercise, this is what you get. Lots of ‘developer-driven’ unplugged apps with no traction and no user stickiness.

Mr Bentzel is right – Mobile devs became kingmakers when there were few Apps to choose from. But the game has changed and now mobile marketing automation is key.

His comment echoes our belief that you need to launch with an engagement strategy. If you think “if you build it they will come” then you will probably discover if you build it their will leave!

In summary:

The era of App novelty for consumers has ended as their attention-deficit lives are filled with an ongoing stream of Apps.

Apps that engage and retain their audience will have their engagement strategy (and process) applied from Day 1 to:

  • stay top-of-mind with their audience.
  • will optimize for acquiring the best-fit audience

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