70 per cent of developers express dissatisfaction with current app marketing and advertising options

July 03 2013 – Beijing, China, and San Francisco, CA – a lack of clarity and trust in ad network providers are among the main reasons why 70 per cent of developers are frustrated with the current state of app marketing, according to a new AppFlood survey into developer attitudes to mobile app marketing and advertising.

The survey of over 1000 independent small, medium and large developers by mobile advertising and cross-promotion network AppFlood offers a new perspective on the attitudes of developers towards ad networks and advertising providers that cater to the promotion and monetization of mobile apps.

Trust is everything

A key area of the survey was how developers chose which advertising company was the best fit for their app launches. Surprisingly, cost was not the most important factor - it ranked only third in developers’ order of priority, chosen by 37 per cent of respondents - regardless of the size of their advertising budget or the size of the company. Instead, the most important factor to almost half the developers surveyed was their ability to trust the advertising partner to deliver effective results at a reasonable price, with many different advertising networks, formats and mechanisms contributing to a sense of confusion as to which approach is best.

When asked if the developers felt that the users they had acquired from their investment in mobile marketing were good value for money, nearly half of all respondents (48 per cent) felt the acquisition cost was too expensive.

Small developers (ie: consisting of 15 staff or less) expressed the highest degree of dissatisfaction regarding value for money, with 53 per cent saying user acquisition was too expensive versus just 33 per cent of large developers (ie: 50 or more staff). This may be explained by large developers having extra budget to enable larger-scale customer acquisition campaigns as well as greater in-house capability to analyse customer usage data and act upon it to drive more efficient campaigns.

eCPM often exaggerated

In addition, 71 per cent of all respondents expressed the view that ad networks often exaggerated their eCPM (effective Cost Per Thousand impressions) claims. Overall, medium-sized developers are the most dissatisfied with the eCPM claims of ad networks, with over 80% citing they felt that eCPM figures were exaggerated, versus 70% of small developers and 60% of large developers.

Making the most of a limited budget

This dissatisfaction is unsurprising given the limited marketing budget that many developers have to work with to promote their app. The majority (78 per cent) of developers surveyed have a per app marketing budget of USD$5000 or less. 12 per cent have a budget of between USD$5000 and USD$10,000: and only 10 per cent of respondents can draw on more than USD$10,000 to support an app launch.

With trust and cost such integral issues, the survey also reveals that most developers are happy to adopt a “do it yourself” approach to their app marketing, with 73 per cent of all respondents preferring to purchase and book their own media for campaigns rather than hand it over to a specialist media planning agency.

Leaving it to chance

Despite the importance of both cost and trust in defining an app marketing campaign, the survey also reveals a number of developers seemingly chose their marketing channels at random. When asked how they decided which ad network or marketing service to use, 26 per cent of smaller developers, 19 per cent of medium developers and 12 per cent of large developers all responded that “they took a chance” when making their decision. This suggests a gap in developers’ knowledge on how to objectively assess the credentials and performance of the various networks and services on offer.


Commenting on the findings of the survey, Si Shen, CEO of PapayaMobile, the company behind AppFlood, said, “Currently, 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 ROI 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,” concluded Si Shen.

The full report can be downloaded for free from the AppFlood website by visiting Developer Attitudes to App Marketing 2013 or going to www.appflood.com

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About PapayaMobile

Mobile distribution and monetisation company PapayaMobile ( www.papayamobile.com)  provides software tools for Android and iOS developers to create freemium mobile social games. Papaya hosts these games on its self-titled mobile social network, for sharing with over 78 million Papaya members worldwide. Papaya was founded in 2008 by CEO Si Shen and CTO Qian Wenjie. It has its headquarters in Beijing and offices in San Francisco and London.

Papaya is the company behind AppFlood, a mobile advertising and cross-promotion network for Android and iOS developers who want to buy, sell, and exchange users for free. Rather than lose 40% to traditional mobile ad networks, app developers can buy and sell installs on the only 100% commission-free ad network.

AppFlood launched in July of 2012 and has over 3000 developers using its services every day. More information can be found at http://appflood.com   

Media contact – North America:

Elizabeth Olson


T: 001 650 302 4776

E: elizabeth@papayamobile.com

Media contact - Europe:

Alex Sowden


T: +44 (0)207 033 2660

E: papaya@dimoso.com


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