Whitepaper how to launch an iPhone app

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download




  • 1. Introduction iPhone Apps are becoming a very popular form of brand utilities. Your brand in the hand of all those iPhone users, thats the ultimate dream of many marketeers.The first step is to have a good concept and have it executed excellently.Before you submit it to the App Store, sit down and think about how you will launch it. In this presentation we present the case study of Merchant, a top 10 App launched in March 2010.We start with a short introduction of Merchant. We then explain how we launched Merchant in different markets and what we learned from it. We end with conclusions. 1

2. Merchant 2 3. Merchant Merchant is the first location based multiplayer game for the iPhone.Merchant takes players back in time to the Middle Ages. You first step as a Merchant is to choose which Guild you want to join. Then you can start to trade, produce, steal and set off on a journey of discovery.Your location in real life determines in each of these cases what will happen and what your options are. 3 4. Your settlements As a Merchant you can found settlements on locations you visit often. On those settlements you produce goods. You build a lumberjack cabin, a saw mill, a stone quarry or a pigs sty, depending on the suitability of the location.To determine what is the best place to settle, you look at the Merchant map. Its a transparent layer thats spread out over the Google map.You can see that there is an extinct Volcano on the location of your office an excellent location to dig for iron ore. 4 5. Your caravan Your iPhone is your caravan. When you are on the location of your settlement in real life you can transfer the goods to your caravan, and take them to other settlements or sell them on the market.Your caravan consists of different units. You start with just a donkey and a cart to transport your goods, but as you get richer you will buy new units like gold diggers, thieves, saboteurs and spies who will help you with their special abilities. 5 6. Counties and the market The world is divided in different counties each with their own specific terrain. They can be mountaineous and rugged, or dry and arid or cold. The terrain determines which crops will grow in a county.In each county there is a market where the players in that county offer the commodities for sales and request commodities they need. You will find that in each county the prices are different.So when you travel in real live you check out the markets in Merchant and you look for bargains. You buy helmets in Malm and sell them in Lund and on your way back to Malm you bring home chickpeas a specialty of Lund. 6 7. The social dimension In Merchant the social dimension is an important aspect of the game. So you can connect with your Facebook Account and befriend your Facebook contacts who also play Merchant.On the website www.merchantthegame.com you can see exactly what your friends are up to and where theyve built their settlements.And you can post your achievements and the titles you have earned on your wall. 7 8. A free game with In App purchases Merchant is a free game, but there is a business model. In the application certain units can be bought for real money through an in App purchases. 8 9. Aboutthelaunch 9 10. The launch On March 29, we launched Merchant in 5 markets that have about the same characteristics when it comes to iPhone use and market penetration.We went for two Scandinavian countries and two Benelux countries. All relative small markets with high wireless internet penetration, good English language skills and a widespread love of the iPhone. 10 11. Launching strategies Our launch strategy in each of these countries was different, however.Swedenjust advertising Norwaynothing The Netherlands PR, then advertising Belgium Just PRMoreover, we tried different advertising options: Google for mobile devices, Admob and Facebook. Through this method we were able to see what really works. 11 12. Conclusions 12 13. Doing nothing is not an option Just being in the App Store is not an option. Sure, you show up in the Whats new list for your 15 minutes of fame but in a mid sized European market it gets you just a handful of downloads. Not enough to get the buzz out even if you have a great app (like Merchant). 13 14. Ads work We have tested a few advertising possibilities. The bottom line is: ads work.With both AdMob and Google Adwords you can show your ads on iPhones and thats exactly where you want to be. Pay per click rates differ from market to market but are between 5 and 10 eurocents.In our view AdMob offers the best solution to get your App noticed.Your ads lead directly to the App Store where people can download your App. 14 15. Just ads? No! We ran an ad campaign in Sweden without any form of support no Press Releases and no favorable reviews in de App Store.And we ran an ad campaign in the Netherlands after we had a number of enthusiastic articles in important iPhone blogs and a bunch of favorable reviews in the App Store (real reviews of course, we dont cheat).The difference? Huge.So here it is: ads work better if your App has received some attention here and there. People are 2 times more likely to download an App that has positive reviews in the App Store than an App that has none. 15 16. Get good reviews When people de-install your App they are asked to rate it. Most of these people give ratings that are worse than you deserve, because it is just the people who de-installed who do the rating.So you need to activate your fan base and get them to rate and review your app.We had a strategy in place to do this, and guess what: it worked. 16 17. Get high in the charts Tell me something I dont know. Of course we all want to be high in the charts.What we mean is a bit more subtle though: we mean to say. It pays off to have an advertising budget that gets you in the charts.The numbers differ from App to App, but you can count on 1 to 2 extra free downloads just for being in the top 25 Apps for every App downloaded because you advertised for it.That means downloads from earned media can be double those from owned media. 17 18. And be social Apps spread socially. People talk about the Apps they like, in real life, but also on Facebook and other social networks.In our game we asked people top Facebook connect. Using the social power of Facebook we got many new users from our fanbases network. 18 19. Thenalsecret 19 20. The final secret Weve shared a few of our insights on how to launch an App successfully. Even though weve kept some of the details to ourselves, we think these insights are useful to anyone who thinks about using an iPhone App to promote his brand.There is one real secret we havent shared yet:Its the App itself that is the most important factor. Your app needs to rock.Call or mail us to find out how we can make an App that will hit the charts.Mail:contact@oberon.nlTel: +31-20-3449480 20