Localized Mobile App Marketing

Today is known as Black Friday in the United States.  It’s the day after Thanksgiving and usually is the largest shopping day of the year.  This is the day to either avoid the stores completely or to do all of your shopping at once to take advantage of seasonal sales.   This brings up yet one more approach to market  your mobile app – through local mobile vendors.

We can call this “local retro marketing” – as it applies to methods that were in vogues 8 – 10 years ago.  In many cases, these methods were fabulously successful, it is one of the ways that World of Warcraft became so popular with PC users.   Back then, companies wanting to promote their software would provide computer, software and electronics stores free copies for their customers – set right at the cashier’s desk.  Sometimes they had full stand-up displays, sometimes they just had a customized box.  They would have free CD’s, in earlier variations, free floppy diskettes.   But, these were right there, free to grab at checkout.  And people grabbed them.

With your mobile app today, you are not distributing via floppy (funny, huh?) or CD.  You probably just want to do a promotional flyer – professional, sharp looking, that has download instructions for your app.   While the printing costs may be higher than your online CPM and CPC advertising rates, the conversion rates for your predecessors deserves testing.  A trial run of 1,000 copies should give you sufficient basis to determine whether to include this as part of your normal marketing program.

The main difficulty is convincing the local store manager to let you run this kind of promotion through their store.   Each store will have its own policies.   Some might charge you for space, some might want some kind of co-branding in your promotions, others will simply be happy to help promote a local developer.  It takes some effort to discover their requirements, but the process provides you some valuable local contacts for future projects.

Moreover, you need not confine this approach to mobile stores — if you have a travel app, you can approach travel companies; if you have an educational app for children – you might work through local parent-teacher associations and child care centers.

This can be a useful way for finding sponsors for your future projects, too.

On the surface, this approach to mobile marketing may sound a bit silly – decidedly low tech.  The point to bear in mind is to not confuse the medium with the end-user.  The end-user is a person with a mobile device, not simply a mobile device.  Consequently there are many ways to connect with people.  It’s just we don’t spend talking about your own neighborhood when discussing the mobile market.


Project Manager at the Opera Mobile Store providing Sales-Marketing support. Content development and research.

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