Developers Aim for Non-irritating Advertising - Smartphone Development
It’s no real secret that Google’s Android platform has been underperforming when it comes to apps. Yes, Android currently reigns as the most widely used mobile platform, but its apps have failed to reach the level of success that competitor Apple has achieved for various reasons. While Google’s app efforts aren’t completely underwater as of yet, recent surveys show that it is losing the favor of developers over time.
Mobile app developers must tread a fine line when it comes to implementing advertisements into their offerings. On one hand, advertisements allow them to monetize their apps to make a profit. On the other hand, advertisements deemed to be intrusive could turn off customers altogether.
The issue of app mobile app advertising was recently discussed by developers at the Mobile Madness conference. In terms of the best strategy, most of the panelists agreed that developers must build customer loyalty first. Building such loyalty not only comes through app downloads, but also through how useful an app is. If customers use an app on a daily or at least weekly basis, that app is more likely to be successful in the long run. Gaining a surge of downloads when an app is first released does not mean that it will continue to grow in popularity over time if it does not provide any valuable features to users.
Michael Putnam, VP of products for Jana, a mobile marketing firm, commented on the need for developing useful apps: “Companies usually say, 'We have x-million downloads,' but it really is a vanity metric and it doesn't matter. What you really care about is your monthly users. Across the board you see much more engagements in apps than what you see in the mobile web.”
Once a loyal user base is formed, the dilemma kicks in of how to capitalize off them even further. The way in which advertising is implemented is crucial. Developers must devise plans that stress the way in which advertising is delivered to ensure that customers do not lose interest or become annoyed. Meredith Flynn-Ripley, CEO of HeyWire, a free texting app, said: “Mobile advertising does intrude on the user experience. You really have to have a technology person focus on advertising and you have to manage those ad networks just like you would anything else.”
So, with mobile app advertising being such a touchy subject, how does an app developer go about including it in their offerings? The conference’s panel noted that there was no guaranteed method to use advertising without potentially annoying customers. However, Jeff Chow, CEO of app developer Spring Partners, said many companies are brainstorming on how to offer ads that actually help users instead of irritating them. “What we're trying to find out, is there a way that brands and consumer advertisers can help the consumer out instead of being the dancing mortgage guy on banner ads?” said Chow.