Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Day-to-day Product Management #1: 1 month after launching an iPhone game

Today, I want to share with you my day-to-day experiences on distributing an iphone app.

In my previous product management roles at HTC, distributing and advertising mobile apps was handled by dedicated marketing teams. Therefore I want to enhance this part of marketing skills , the P of promotion :).

In order to do that, I chose to do a very soft launch (almost secret one!) to have a reference point of what happens when you only share the link with your friends on Facebook and talk about it around a beer.

As you will see in a bit, there is no free lunch and miracle did not happen!

Firstly, I chose to do a copycat of the successful Flappy bird game because from a product perspective, millions of users have shown interest in it and copycats have been downloaded thousands of time. So why not use it as a basis and add a funny twist to it?

As a French, I have been amused by the affair our President had earlier this year and I used this funny story as a basis for the game.

So after developing the game, I pushed it in iTunes Connect, which is the tool you need for publishing your apps on the App Store. Once released officially on the 29th of May 2014, I shared the link on several channels (and did again after a minor update on the 13th of June 2014):

  • 2nd of June 2014: 
    • Twitter share:
    • Facebook share:
  • 11th of June 2014: I posted a brief article on the game on this blog and shared the article on Google+ account (but who cares, no one uses Google+ ;))
  • 13th of June 2014: I asked for help on Facebook for translating the game description for iTunes

  • 16th of June 2014: I shared a score on Twitter

  • 19th of June 2014: I share updated version on Twitter and Facebook

  • To help you visualize my network, I mainly use Facebook (around 500 friends) and I am not a big fan of Twitter (around 150 followers and use it mainly as news feed for tech and entrepreneurship).

    So what are the results? Wait for it.... a stunning 123 downloads in one month!!! Youhou!!!

    As you can see on the graph, main downloads are around the 13th of June 2014 (when I asked for help on Facebook on this project).

    It appears that sharing update on the new version had very low effect (if any) on the 19th of June and after. Since then I have not communicated at all on the app.

    So with this, it appears that with no clear promotion strategy, nothing really happens!

    From this point on, I need now to test several other channels to measure their ROIs and see whether I can reach the 10K target :)!

    So the plan is (and you will soon see the reports):

    • Facebook ads
    • Google ads (since it's a mobile app, not sure it really makes sense)
    • Links in newspapers and forums
    • Landing page for the app with a well-formated SEO
    • iAd campaigns
    • Linkedin share
    Stay tuned, more to come soon!!

    --Pierre-Antoine Antonini

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