How to Market an App to Consumers
People download apps every day, but the truth is that many of them are abandoned or never even used. New Google and Ipsos research uncovers how people discover and engage with apps—and what brands can do about it.
Apps are now an integral part of our daily micro-moments, with people spending an average of 30 hours per month in them, according to Nielsen1. Apps play a key role in those I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, I-want-to-buy moments.
They’re also a powerful way for brands to build deeper relationships with their customers. A mobile app marketing strategy can complement a brand’s offline experience (in-store special offers, for example), drive e-commerce, or simply help connect a brand with its loyal customers. Together with mobile websites, they’ve become important to both consumers and marketers.
Tell the truth about what your app can do. Once you start distributing your app, you become an advertiser. Under the law, an ad isn’t just a multimillion dollar TV campaign. It’s pretty much anything a company tells a prospective buyer or user – expressly or by implication – about what a product can do. Whether it’s what you say on a website, in an app store, or within the app itself, you have to tell the truth. False or misleading claims, as well as the omission of certain important information, can tick off users and land you in legal hot water. One rule of thumb: Look at your product and your advertising from the perspective of average users, not just software engineers or app experts. If you make objective claims about your app, you need solid proof to back them up before you start selling.
Give your users tools that offer choices in how to use your app – like privacy settings, opt-outs, or other ways for users to control how their personal information is collected and shared. It’s good business to apply the “clear and conspicuous” standard to these choice mechanisms, too. Make it easy for people to find the tools you offer, design them so they’re simple to use, and follow through by honoring the choices users have made.
Even if you need to collect or share data so your app can operate, be clear to users about your practices. Explain what information your app collects from users or their devices and what you do with their data. For example, if you share information with another company, tell your users and give them information about that company’s data practices.
At minimum, you have to live up to the privacy promises you make. But what if you don’t say anything specific about what you do with users’ information? Under the law, you still have to take reasonable steps to keep sensitive data secure. One way to make that task easier: If you don’t have a specific need for the information, don’t collect it in the first place.
The wisest policy is to:
1. Collect only the data you need;
2. Secure the data you keep by taking reasonable precautions against well-known security risks;
3. Limit access to a need-to-know basis;
4. Safely dispose of data you no longer need.