It’s all appning: 63% of app developers expect to increase their mobile ad budgets

As mobile industries continue to invest and innovate, app marketers are optimistic about the future. According to a survey by App Annie among 800 app developers and marketers, 65% of respondents believe that the state of the app economy is in an upward trajectory. Just 14% thought that the industry outlook may remain flat instead.

App marketers within healthcare, sports and fitness were the most optimistic (70%) followed by gaming app developers (60%).

The positive mood has a big effect on ad spend with 63% of respondents expecting their ad budgets to increase and 23% of them believing that they may increase by “a lot”. Publishers within video, shopping, retail and communications app sectors have slightly higher expectations (70%) for budgets to increase.

User acquisition continues to be one of the leading goals for app advertisers with 80% of respondents saying it was their priority. User retention was another critical goal for video, social and fitness apps, whilst music, retail and game apps are more focused on driving revenue. Finance and communications apps on the other hand believe it to be more important to improve their customer engagement.

Among the main benchmarks for measuring app success, a third of respondents chose active users. However, here again, benchmarks vary by app sector.

Respondents agree that app store optimization as well as driving word-of-mouth marketing are the leading marketing channels. Organic search scored highest overall for securing the largest number of app installs and attracting users.

App marketers feel that push notifications and social sharing are best at driving engagement with users. Chatbots on the other hand haven’t seen much enthusiasm from marketers. However, there is generally a greater level of uncertainty as to which activities may be most effective. Indeed, 14% of respondents weren’t sure, and another 20% indicated that they did not use any of the strategies listed.

Overall, marketers agree that a user-friendly experience has the highest potential to drive user retention followed by value-added features. Targeting consumers with relevant content was another factor in determining the best user-retention strategies.

According to the report:

Developers will want to balance creating the best possible in-app experience with using these other factors as ways to cement or incrementally improve retention. Given that it’s less costly and more effective to retain an existing user than to acquire a new one, this is an area worth investing in.