Tag Archives: Marketing

More on iPhone App Store Pricing

The conversations about the App Store and the drive towards 99-cent applications continues. Here are some more thoughtful posts:

And from 37Signals:

Ok, I lied. That last one isn’t about the App Store—at least not directly. ;-)

Concerns Surface About iPhone App Market

In case you missed it, there’s been some great discussion lately about the iPhone App Store and the drive towards 99 cent applications. In particular, whether or not this pressure for lower prices will allow developers to make enough money off of more complex applications.

I’m happy to see this discussion starting. More than a few of the conversations I’ve had recently have been with people who seem to have unrealistic expectations about the iPhone App Store. I’ve talked to many people who must have an iPhone app without a real business case or logic for it.

That’s not to say that people can’t be successful with the App Store nor that there aren’t really interesting and exciting things happening in the market. It just feels a little out of balance.

I’m going to write more about this in much more detail later and am planning on making this part of my presentation topics for the coming year. However, I wanted to make sure people were following this conversation. So here are some of the better articles on the topic:

Brand Affinity and Brand Fans

Everywhere I turn lately, there has been a discussion about brands and our relationship to them. One of the co-founders of Cloud Four, Lyza, wrote about Brand Affinity recently. My ex-coworker Chris Higgins picked up the theme on Mental Floss. Finally, Facebook’s recently unveiled its big advertising push with an emphasis on “Brand Fans” and “Fan-sumers.”

When Lyza and Chris write about their brand preferences, I find myself thinking that, yes, I indeed follow brands and buy brands. However, when I first read about Facebook’s new advertising plan relying on me declaring myself a fan of a brand, I laughed aloud. Yeah right, how many people are going to take the time to sign up to become a fan of Coke.

But if you read Jeremiah’s article on Facebook, he provides some convincing supporting data in support of Facebook’s brand pages. In particular, he points out that people trust the recommendations of friends and acquaintances more than any other source of information. Because of this fact, having your friends endorse a brand on Facebook would make a big difference in your decision-making.

The data is right. The conclusion is wrong.

Few people have blind loyalty when it comes to brands. I generally like Apple products (as do both Chris and Lyza), but I would never buy nor recommend that anyone buy an iTV. Because I generally like Apple products, I will look at their new products, but I don’t purchase them blindly.

And when I like something, I evangelize specific products, not the brand itself. I think this is true of most people whether we talk about Apple or Coca-Cola. People like specific products created by companies, not everything the company has ever done.

This is why I think Facebook is on the right track, but misguided in a fundamental way. They have taken a marketer’s approach to creating a relationship with brands when the real value comes from recommendations at the product or service level.

True Impact of TinyURL

Slashdot today has an article asking the question, “Do Tiny URL Services Weaken Net Architecture?” The argument in the Slashdot article is pretty hilarious (Short version: TinyURL goes down and the Internet crashes). Instead of chicken-little scenarios, let’s talk about the one significant way that the growth in TinyURL-like services is changing marketing.

Shorten url services are all the rage these days. The key factors in their popularity are the increase in mobile devices, especially text messaging services, and emerging technology like Twitter and Pownce. When people use these systems, a premium is placed on short messages. Shortening a url to save characters becomes a necessity.

The impact of use of TinyURL-like services is that it becomes much more difficult to track the conversation surrounding your company or product. Savvy marketers today have multiple searches set up to scour the web looking for urls that point to their web sites. However, when people use TinyURL and other services, links to your web site are impossible to detect because the TinyURL is random.

This makes it more critical than every to watch incoming referring urls to find Twitter references and other places linking to your site. My testing shows that the referring url will show up correctly in web analytics despite the use of TinyURL.