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MARKETING YOUR APP · HUGH KIMURA · SEPTEMBER 2014

5 Lessons For App Publishers From The iPhone 6 Launch

What the iPhone 6 launch can teach app publishers about app marketing.

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After much speculation and buildup, September 9th finally arrived this week Tuesday. Apple had their live event at the Flint Center, the venue where they made the original Macintosh announcement in 1984.

I'm sure that you have been over all of the iPhone 6 specs already. Many of the prelaunch leaks were pretty accurate. Two sizes, external camera bezel, rounded edges, etc.

If you have been reading this blog, then you know that iOS 8 will also bring several new benefits to app publishers. This includes things like faster search scrolling (for better discovery), App Preview videos and App Bundles.

So instead of rehashing all of the information and specs that are already out there, let's take a look at the iPhone 6 launch from a marketing perspective. There are five aspects of this launch that can also apply to successfully marketing an app.

5. User Experience Is Everything

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When you watch an Apple product launch, it truly is an event. They often go through great lengths to keep their launches a secret and they do a really good job of getting the audience emotionally involved. They have mastered the art of the launch.

But product launches aren't the only way that Apple differentiates itself from the competition. Compared with Android or Windows, iOS provides a more seamless and simplistic experience.

So take a step back and take a look at the user experience of your apps. Are you really delivering the best possible user experience?

If not, then how can you make it better?

4. Listen To Your Users And Adapt

There was a time when Apple was proud of the fact that the iPhone that could be used with one hand. Do you remember those commercials?

Things have changed since the launch of previous iPhones. People do want bigger phones.

I'm not in the "bigger is always better" camp, but I am personally looking forward to using the new 4.7 inch iPhone 6.

Apple has adapted to the increased screen size by adding a double tap feature to the home button. It shifts the screen down and allows items at the top of the screen to be reached with one hand.

So as an app publisher, listen to the feedback of your users and find out what you can improve on. More importantly, take a look at what the users of all the apps in your niche are saying.

One of the best ways to do this is by doing Review Mining. By looking at the reviews of your app and your competitor's apps, you can discover pain points to solve. Our Review Analysis module can make this process much faster, especially if you have tens or hundreds of thousands of reviews to sort through.

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3. It's All About Who You Know

U2, Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake were the big names that Apple featured at their iPhone 6 launch. Including these stars adds even more excitement and credibility to the event.

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In a similar way, marketing your app successfully can really be about who you know. By following this blog and other developers who are the best at ASO, you can stay current with the latest developments and strategies.

But effective app marketing doesn't stop there. If you make friends with influential people, they can help you get the word out about your apps.

So take some time to cultivate your personal and professional network every month. Follow people on social media, attend local meetups and join some online groups. Then reach out to the people you meet and start exchanging ideas and information.

2. You Don't Need To Be First To Market

Although the iPhone was the first phone of its kind on the market, Apple has since been more willing to sit back and survey the market before making any changes to the iPhone.

There have been a lot of comments from diehard Android fans about how the iPhone is finally "catching up" to some of the flagship Android devices out there. That is certainly true when you look at the spec sheets.

But even so, Apple will still sell a ton of iPhone 6s.

The same thing goes for Apple Watch. Smartphone connected devices like Pebble were available a long time ago. But Apple will probably still do well with Apple Watch.

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This demonstrates that you don't have to be the first app to ever do something. Some of the most successful apps in the world are based on other apps.

So if you do have a great idea, be sure to do your market research on the existing apps out there. You may be able to do it better or put your own unique twist on the idea.

1. There Are New Opportunities Emerging All The Time

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Apple Watch and Apple Pay should be a huge new opportunities for app publishers. Apple Pay will help merchants streamline payments and keep iPhone users more secure.

It remains to be seen if the smartwatch will become really popular, but if anyone can pull it off, it is Apple. However, it will be exciting to see what kind of watch-specific apps will be developed in the next few years.

Although these are great opportunities to get in on the ground floor on some new technology, there are many smaller app opportunities emerging all the time. Take some time right now to think about how you can make small innovations in your industry, as well as take advantages of these big new changes.

Conclusion

So those are just some ideas on how you can apply the principles that Apple uses to create successful product launches. Good marketing can be applied across many different industries.

Keep an eye out for it, regardless if it is for cars or for a sporting event. Then figure out how you can apply the same principles to marketing your app.

As a side note, did you also notice that Apple finally changed their website menu after the event? The flat design looks so much better.

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What other marketing insights did you get from the iPhone 6 launch event? Let us know in the comments below...


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Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: September 2014

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