PPAMobile represents a host of challenges for publishers, but also a massive opportunity.  So, we were chuffed to be invited to speak at Customer Direct 2013: Subscriptions and Beyond – a conference for subscription marketers set up by the PPA (Professional Publishers Association).
 
The event proved that just about every publisher in the land has mobile on their agenda. It was telling that keynote speaker Nicholas Coleridge, president of Condé Nast International, took the opportunity to urge the “stick-in-the-muds” at the ABC auditing body to include tablet edition sales in its figures as soon as possible, or risk making their figures increasingly irrelevant.
Our role at the event was as part of a session called ‘Growing International Subscriptions’. Here at Yodel Mobile, we’ve certainly gained a lot of experience in the publishing industry, and we can vouch for mobile as a surefire way to improve a media entity’s international reach.
Indeed, Coleridge said 57% of his company’s iPad sales comes from overseas. And we also heard in our session how the British Journal of Photography had turned a physical product (which weighed almost a kilogram and cost a fortune to send abroad) into one of the most successful iPad magazines in the world.
So, is it just a question of getting your app in a load of app stores and preparing to count the money? Not quite. We’ve learned some important lessons when it comes to distributing publications around the world.
Cultural differences can make a huge difference. If you’re targeting the Arab world, for example, a free app will go down very well; whereas in the West consumers are more likely to subscribe, but they won’t tolerate crashing apps. You can expect one-star reviews if you disappoint them with your product.
You also need to consider the mobile OS mix. Android’s market share is massive, but users are harder to convert – whereas Apple users are more valuable because they’re more into apps and more comfortable with making purchases.
So, it’s important to know your mobile users, but it’s even more important to reach potential users in the first place. Discoverability is the single biggest challenge when it comes to app publishing. There are 1.8m apps out there, and only a handful of visible spots on app store home pages. If you underestimate the cost of marketing your app, your app development investment is wasted.
And you must also be able to track your app, both in terms of how people use it – what they read, dwell times, and so on – and in terms of where the download came from. Did the download come from a search, an ad, an email? We can help you with technology that’ll give you that insight – allowing you to optimise your campaigns and beat your target cost per acquisition (CPA)
Our work with a range of publishing clients proves that this process works. But we also know that the mobile market is just a few years young, and is changing at breakneck speed. Publications need to get a mobile roadmap in place – get in touch if you’d like to tap into our experience in the sector.
Be sure to watch Mick’s presentation from the Customer Direct 2013 conference below and follow us on Twitter @yodelmobile. You can also join our #mobilemarketinguk linkedin group to keep up with all the latest Yodel Mobile insight.