Friday, 29 October 2010

Which review sites do you use?

As you can imagine,  I don't really use review sites very much so I thought it would be worthwhile asking which sites developers found the most useful and why.

Ideally I'd like to build up a useful list that everyone who visits the blog can use and benefit from.

Comment in which sites are most useful to you.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Don't forget the conventional press

When you're launching your new app or huge update consider contacting magazines like Computer Music as they seem to be featuring more and more mobile apps on a regular basis.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

How do you use your promo codes

What do you use them for and how do you make best promotional use of them? I've heard from developers who have sent promo codes to multiple review sites and never heard from the reviewers at all. I'm sure there a lots of stories of promo codes not being used and being wasted sadly.

So here are some ideas for what to do with your codes that could help you get some promotion out of your codes.
  1. Give codes to reviewers / sites where they'll be actually used (PalmSounds of course, but others too, such as CDM, Matrixsynth, Synthtopia).
  2. Give codes away for reviews. You can do this via twitter or your blog etc, but make sure when you offer the code
  3. Run promo code competitions, through a blog (like PalmSounds), or anyone else for that matter.
  4. Offer codes to loyal customers who have bought a different product already
Codes can be a really effective tool for marketing your app and should be used carefully. Every code given away should get you some kind of publicity. A review on the app store, on a site somewhere and extend your marketing reach.

If you've come across an innovative use of promo codes please share it.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Inside the box

Having worked in marketing for years I was almost always annoyed when people talked about 'thinking outside the box'. A great deal of the time I didn't know what the box was or where it was, or why it was we needed to be outside of it.

It demonstrated to me that often there is a misconception that doing something different is the key to success for a project or product and that's not always true. Thinking outside the box is almost always synonymous with innovation, and yet in my experience things seldom work that simply.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that being innovative is wrong in any way, but being innovative isn't the same as thinking outside the box.

A lot of the time what we really mean by thinking outside the box is to attempt to solve a problem creatively, and what better people to be creative than creative coders making creative applications, for creative musicians (I apologise for the overuse of the word 'creative').

In many cases using standard marketing tools and methods is the most appropriate and the most effective way to promote and market any service or product. After all, taking this approach is often what consumers understand and can relate to. Being too innovative can have the result of alienating potential customers or leaving them feeling that they whatever the product or service is, it isn't aimed at them.

So don't overlook traditional channels, price promotions, advertising, etc when thinking about how to market your app. Not everyone is on twitter and facebook although at times it can feel that way.

Friday, 22 October 2010

How audiences differ

An interesting article at emarketer on how different audiences have different tastes.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Twittering to a schedule

We are all busy and have lots to do, so it can be difficult at times to maintain a steady stream into social media sites like twitter. However, you could consider scheduling your messages in twitter using something like hootsuite.

You might think that it isn't a particularly good use of twitter, and takes out the human touch. Well, in some ways I might agree. Scheduling tweets has to be used alongside being an active user, if nothing else, so that you can reply when people act on or reply to your tweets. However, it can be a simple way of maintaining a consistent flow of messages even when you can't be there all the time to do it yourself.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Making your blog an email newsletter

I talked yesterday about using an email newsletter for marketing. One simple way of doing that is using feedburner to offer email subscriptions to your blog. Of course, it isn't a full newsletter, more of a first step toward that, but often people like to get an email rather than visiting your blog or reading it in a feed reader.

Also, often readers will want to keep an article or post, and having it in their inbox or a folder is simple way to retrieve it.

Feedburner can do all of that for you and is really simple to set up. Worth considering.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Why have a newsletter?

That's a good question. You might have a website, a blog, be on twitter and facebook, so why go that extra mile?

Good question. Simply put there are still lots of stats which point to consumers still liking to get information via email.

An email newsletter doesn't have to be a huge amount of work either. It can be quite a simple affair. Here are some tips.
  1. You don't need to write a novel, be concise and format your newsletter so it is easy to read.
  2. Think about email newsletters you've received and which ones you read and which you instantly bin, make your newsletter like the former.
  3. A quick news round up can be useful, but again, keep it concise. Often readers might have seen a news item on twitter or elsewhere, so make it brief and offer links out to your blog or site for more information.
  4. Highlight user stories if you have them, especially where a user has used your app to solve a problem or used the app in an innovative way
  5. If possible offer something for signing up to the newsletter, exclusive content, first looks at new features etc.
A newsletter doesn't have to be a huge amount of work, but it can be more personal that a blog post or twitter / facebook feed. It is worth thinking about.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Monday, 18 October 2010

At the end of the product lifecycle

There's plenty of apps out there which haven't been updated for a long time. Users often call them abandonware, which may be true in some cases. But if you've got an app in the store that you don't plan to do much with anymore because you're working on something else, or for whatever reason, it doesn't mean that it can't generate interest for you. Here are a few ideas you could consider.
  1. Make the app free for a period of time to generate some interest and get picked up by the sites who post on apps that change to free like freeappalert.
  2. Reduce the price for a while or for good
  3. If you make your app free consider adding some advertising to it so you get something back for it.
Whatever you do make sure you let people know what you're doing. Tell people that the apps is free on twitter, in your blog, on facebook etc and use that to promote your new app, or whatever else you're doing to get some publicity from it.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Music Hack Day Boston is tomorrow

And that's a good way to get some publicity for your app whether you're going to the event or not. Why not consider running a price discount on your app or even making it free to celebrate the event.

If you do, then make sure you publicise it on twitter and use the music hack day hashtag.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Socially Responsible Marketing

Partnering with a good cause as part of your marketing is not only a good way of promoting your product, but is in itself just a good thing to do. However, you need to make sure that if you do something like this you do it right. Here are a few pointers.
  1. Make sure you pick a cause which will be relevant to your users in some way and not so removed from what they're interested in as to be inaccessible to them
  2. If at all possible make sure that the charity or organisation you decide on is aware of what you're doing and understand what you're offering.
  3. Make your connection to the charity clear to everyone. For example, support a specific fund raising day for the charity by offering them all proceeds from your app sales on that day.
  4. Make sure users know that on that particular day if they buy your app the money will go to the charity
  5. Promote in advance of the event, during the day or whatever time period it is, and then tell people how much you raised for the charity, and thank them for buying your app to help the charity.
  6. Make sure you have a good contact within the charity organisation so they know what you're doing.
  7. If the charity has brand guidelines or similar, stick to them.
  8. Feel good about doing it.
I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Understanding Facebook artist pages v profiles

Here's a useful article at hypebot on understanding facebook artist pages v profiles. Facebook is a useful and important too for social media marketing so understanding how things work is important.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want more on then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketingcom.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

How do you use pricing?

I've talked about pricing before, but it is a subject that doesn't always get the notice it should. The app store gives developers the ability to run price promotions on a schedule and that's a great tool for marketing.

For instance, you could run a schedule that offers a discount on a certain day of the week, or at weekends for a specific month, or tie pricing into special events.

Pricing is a very powerful tool to get users to respond to. Often I've seen users comment that they would've bought this or that app if the price was X or Y. Offering discounts on a regular or occasional basis can generate interest and sales, so it is worth giving some thought to.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Tipping point

Marketers often talk about a tipping point for a product or a campaign. This is where the product or service gains such a foothold in the target market that users or consumers start to become an active part of the campaign and it can go viral.

Getting to a tipping point is no easy task. You'll be able to find lots and lots of sites that will give you advice on how to get your campaign to go viral, but even if you follow all the advice you can eat it won't guarantee success.

You can have the best video campaign on YouTube, the best product and still it won't necessarily get you noticed.

One way to build recognition is to offer something for your users to publicise your product. This could be an additional sample pack in return for tweeting the product details or something similar.

If you're thinking of doing something like that then you might want to try out Pay with a tweet. Using that or something like it could get your users to generate publicity for you.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Try before you buy

I don't think that there is an answer to this question really. I know developers have been divided over whether or not free or lite versions actually work and can convert into purchases of a full and paid app.

For some types of app I can see that it would work. Some games for example. But for others I can see that it just becomes a lot of extra work for the developer.

In-app purchases can be a good way to get around this. Some apps have been released free for basic functionality and have lots of purchasable additional content.

But essentially the decision to have a lite or free version is going to depend on the developer and the kind of app they've put out.

Of course, you can monetize apps with advertising, but that isn't always a popular idea with users although I suspect that it will become more and more popular over time.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Do you have a press pack?

So you've got a great app, a great web site with a blog and a facebook fan page and you're gaining followers on twitter, but what happens when someone comes along and wants to write something about your app. Where can they find all the right information and pictures and videos etc?

You need a press page. You might not think that you do, but as a long time blogger I can tell you that the easier you make it for people to find the information the more likely they are to actually use it.

So what do you need in your press pack?

It is all too easy. Here's a quick run down of what to include:
  1. Good quality photos of your app screens and possibly a few shots of it in action too. Also make these available as a zip file too.
  2. Embeddable videos of your app in action
  3. A concise write up of what the app does and why it is useful
  4. Some brief user testimonials and comments
You probably have all that information in a variety of other places anyway, so pulling it together into a single press page shouldn't be difficult.

Once your press page is set up it shouldn't take too much maintenance, but do make sure that it is up to date on a regular basis.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Out of the Blue or Run Up?

I was thinking about a couple of app launches recently that each took very different approaches to releasing a product.

Xenon released their app with no run up and made a great splash with it. SoundPrism did the opposite and released lots of information about their app in the run up to it being released on the app store.

Which is better? The simple truth is that there's no answer to that question. There's pluses and minuses to both approaches.

Out of the Blue
If you take the out of the blue approach you can make a big impact. On the other hand you can run the risk of launching on a day when there's lots of other news, either music app related or anything else that can dilute the impact of your message.

Of course, as many mobile music developers are relatively small organisations you can be flexible about your launch plans which can mitigate this, but it is still a risk.

Run up
Having a long run up to your launch can get lots of attention for what you're doing, but the longer you leave it before the app finally becomes available can mean that you run the risk of someone else taking your idea (especially for feature updates) and also of potential users losing interest.

There's no clear answer and both approaches are equally valid. When deciding which way to go you just need to be sure you've thought though what you're  doing and the pro's and con's of both approaches.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Event based marketing

I posted on this a little while ago, but I thought I'd write a reminder especially with the V&A Digital Design Weekend coming up this weekend. You can see that in the marketing events calendar in the sidebar.

Using events to market your app is not difficult. You don't have to be at an event or be running one to make use of it as a marketing opportunity, especially with social media.

You can use trade show events to market your app on twitter using the show's hashtag. In the case of the V&A event you could take the angle that some of what's going on will be focused around openFrameworks so a blog post on that and how it can be used is one idea.

You could put your app on sale to celebrate the event, or even make it free for the weekend if you want.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Getting the most out of your Facebook page

Another good bit of advice from Mashable on getting the most out of a Facebook business page.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Set up on the web with $10 and a Google account

Mashable points out in this post that you can get yourself set up and running with a blog and your own domain with just $10 and a Google account, which has got to be one of the cheapest ways to establish a web presence.

Of course, there are lots of other options for setting up on the internet, but you'll get a lot for your $10 so it is worth taking a look it.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Twitter Followers are better than Facebook Fans

This post at Hypebot about a report into the buying intentions of facebook fans over twitter followers probably needs to be taken with a pinch of salt as indeed the article suggests.

For mobile music developers I would suggest that twitter followers are more likely to purchase once they've followed over facebook fans.

Hopebot goes on to point out that there are a lot more people on facebook than there are on twitter, which is a fair point.

So for getting out the message about your app and what you're doing with it then you probably need both to engage your audience.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Mashable's guide to professional social networking

Not for everyone I know, but this could be of interest if you're venturing into social networking and want to do it properly.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Are you making the most of Facebook?

You might have been on Facebook for ages, you might even have a fanpage, but are you making the most of it? Do you connect with users and feature their content on your page? Do you publicise your page on your web site or twitter?

Using social media to best effect does take time and effort, but it can be a great way to extend your reach and get more people to see your app and how it is being used. 

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Marketing using events

I was thinking about the London Music Hack day and that event prompted me to write this post. Event based marketing doesn't need to be difficult. It can be as easy as associating your app with an event using it's twitter hashtag.

That's what one developer (at least the one I'm aware did this) did for their app and London Music Hack day. They made their app free for the duration of the event and used the event's hastag to tweet about it. Simple.

Of course, hack day events only appeal to a relatively small number of people, but even so it can get your application some attention. You don't need to limit yourself to events you are part of, but can associate your marketing activity with any kind of event, like a trade show or a public holiday. The link between your application and the event can be almost anything. For example, if you had an app that could be used for education in some way, you could use the start of the Autumn term as a back to school promotion.

Linking to trade shows is also worth considering, again with the use of hashtags on twitter. You might also want to time the release of new features or content (i.e. Sample packs) to a trade event.

To try and help out with this I've put a marketing events calendar on the side of the blog. I'm going to try and populate it with as many music related events as possible, but if there's any you think should be in there please let me know.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

24% of UK consumers saying the iPad is their primary entertainment device

Not entirely surprising really, but when you take it against the fact that 19% said that the TV was their primary entertainment device it starts to look a little odd in my opinion. The rest of the article is available here, but I couldn't find the sample size for the group.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

A mobile phone and a computer are more important and a dishwasher!

An interesting piece of research from eMarketer. I'm not sure exactly what it is saying about consumers though.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Don't be afraid of freebies

This is a useful piece from the developer of Bleep!Box and Bleep!Synth about offering promo codes for reviews. It is a worth considering this approach to get positive reviews on the apps store.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Blogger Stats

Yesterday Blogger moved their new stats feature out of blogger in draft and into 'regular' blogger which is great news for anyone using google's blogging platform.

Having spent a little while using this feature I can say that it is a good addition to blogger whilst not being the complete analytics solution that Google Analytics is. However, it does give you a lot of very useful data, but making it useful is something that takes some work to convert the data from interesting to valuable.

Understanding your traffic and how it changes over time isn't an easy. The first thing to look at is which post get most traffic to try and understand what attracts readers. Sometimes it isn't easy to adjust your content to take advantage of these kinds of insights, but it is worth giving some thought to.

Looking at referring sites in the same context is also useful, especially seeing what sites referred and taking into account which posts were most popular to find a correlation and make use of it in the future.

Aanlytics is a huge field, but blogger have included some simple tools that can give you a good start in helping you to make your blog more audience aware. Let's hope that they build on it.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

157 Mobile App Stats

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Friday, 27 August 2010

So you've got a community, what's next

 Lots of developers have their own forums and community sites, but running a community site isn't perhaps as straightforward as you might think. The post from Mashable gives a little insight into the community life cycle.

One of the keys to ensuring success at the start of any community is to be involved as much as possible. Your participation is essential to getting the community off the ground.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Start up school

This is an old article that I was reading the other day and thought it might be of at least passing interest to a few.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Why complaining customers can be good

Ok, that might be a bit of an overstatement, and reading this post from Mashable might make you wonder why I'm talking about this at all. The Mashable post isn't really aimed at one man band developers and small scale companies, but even so there will never be a time when you have 100% of your customers satisfied, no matter what.

I've worked in a variety of organisations from public to private sector all of whom had terrible ways of dealing with people who wanted to complain. The common theme with all of these organisations is that no one was prepared to listen, and on the occasion that someone did the complainer would often he more than happy just to have someone hear them out.

Often complaints can take up a huge amount of time, but dealing with them effectively can give you an opportunity to turn the situation into a testimonial that you can use on you site or blog.

Obviously, some people just like to complain and there's nothing you can do about it, but trying to turn around some complaints could mean that you get some return on the time it takes to deal with them.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Can Game Mechanics be used in music apps?

I read this article at mashable with interest,  but the more I think about it the more I wonder if this kind of thing can be properly applied to music applications, or at least to more serious music applications.

I can see it working with apps that are aimed at children and helping them to learn more about music, but aside from that, I'm not sure.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Also available in mobile

I've made this blog available as a mobile formatted blog. You can find it by clicking here. I'm trying out this service to see if it is any use or not, so if you have comments I'd really appreciate hearing them.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Search Engine Optimization

I don't pretend to fully understand SEO as it really is a completely full time job and hugely complex. However, this post at Mashable gives some tips on how to get started off so I thought it might be useful.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Have you graded your website?

Knowing how your site is doing isn't easy. You can use google analytics and other tools but for the most part they don't tell you what to do next.

WebsiteGrader is a bit different as it will not only give you a score for the site (and associated twitter account too), but will also give you some tips on what to do next. If that wasn't enough you can sign up to get a monthly report on your site which will continue to tell you how your site is improving.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

How many people cite playing an instrument as a hobby?

Yet more stats. I was reading the Keynote Music Industry report for 2010 which states:
  • 27.2% of the UK population play a musical instrument
  • 19.1% described music as their main hobby
  • Family spending on musical instruments per household increased from £15 to £21 (especially interesting in a recession)
  • UK market for keyboards (including synths and controllers) is around £10 million
I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Music as a % of App Store Downloads

Following on the theme of app store stats from yesterday I thought it might be interesting to know that the music category makes up only 3% of downloads from the iTunes App Store (as at Jan 2010).

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Is iPad Music Making Taking off?

I've been looking at data on the iPad Music App market, and it shows some interesting growth. When the iPad app store launched the music category had just 106 apps in it, which isn't bad.

Yesterday that figure was 559 apps, showing a healthy growth at around 90 apps per month. Of course, not all of these apps are music creation apps, there's lots of other music related stuff in there and the figure includes universals too, so the picture is a little cloudy.

However, even so, it sounds healthy to me, and a figure of 559 means that there isn't the same level of overcrowding as developers can experience in the iPhone / iPod Touch market.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Please take the developer marketing survery

If you haven't already, then please take the survey. There have been some responses already and it is starting to make for some very interesting reading. Click here to take survey.

When I have enough responses I'll publish the results.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

In App Purchase Poll: Results


The poll on in-app purchases on the app store gave some interesting yet not unexpected results. I've shown them in two different ways so that they're fairly easy to interpret.


It wasn't a big surprise that instruments, synths and sample packs came out top, but it was interesting that some of the other options got votes at all as I'd expected these to be more like hygiene factors these days.

Food for thought though.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Developer Marketing Intentions Survery - CORRECTION

Sincere apologies for the mess up with the URL for the survey. I have fixed this now and you can now fill it in using the following link. Click here to take survey

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Choosing Keywords


  This is a different take on keywords from an old friend of mine and well worth a read.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Developer Marketing Intentions Survery

I'd like to get a better idea of what kind of marketing information you'd like to see here. To give me a clear picture of what's going to be of most use I've created a survey to take a look at what you as developers really want from this blog and what sorts of marketing activity you've already tried.

You can access the survey here. Please take a couple of minutes to complete it if you can.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

How many twitter accounts should you have?

It might sound odd, but it can be quite important to draw the line between personal and business related twitter activity. Your app could be doing really well and users could be following you on twitter in their droves, so do they want to listen to lots of personal stuff on your twitter feed?

I guess some will, but the reason they followed was your app and nothing more. So it might be time to think about having more than 1 account on twitter.

Here are some questions to consider when thinking about dividing up your tweeting:
  • Do you use twitter for contact with friends and family?
  • Do you have more than one app or product / service?
  • Are there generic issues you want to talk about regarding your business that aren't specific to your app(s)
If you're using twitter for both personal and app / business related reasons then consider creating a new account for your app / business. As I said above, most users will want to follow your tweets about the app rather than personal stuff.

If you have more than one app available (irrespective of platform) then consider a twitter account for each app / product. This way information about the product can stay clear and focused. This is especially important if your apps are in different categories and cater to very different user groups.

You might want to consider a separate account for your business as a whole if there are issues you want to tweet about that are separate from your apps / products, but only consider this if you really need to.

For most mobile music app developers I would imagine that 1 account per app is fine. It is important to keep lines clear and to make twitter work for you.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Monday, 26 July 2010

What does your site say about you?

As an app store user I often find that the description on the app store itself is not enough to satisfy me when I'm considering buying a new app. More often than not I decide to click through to the developers site to find out more about the app and get a better view on why I should buy it.

What I'm looking for in the app's web page is this:
  • A full spec for the app
  • Screen shots with concise explanations
  • Video of the app in use
  • Depending on the complexity of the app some 'how to videos'
Other things that are always nice to see are:
  • Testimonials
  • Sound samples that I can play right off the page
  • A link to a manual for the app unless it really isn't worth writing one
  • Buttons for twitter and facebook
  • A twitter feed showing latest tweets (and preferably not 3 weeks old)
Sadly I don't always find these things. At worst I've clicked through only to find that there is no page. Only slightly better than that is the 'coming soon' page.


Having a product page that helps prospective customers is so important. It is almost as important as your app store description itself.


If you don't have good landing pages for your apps then now is the time to sort them out.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

5 tips to grow your business


This is a good short article on growing your business. No amazing insights, but some good straightforward advice from FourSquare's co-founder.  Read the article here.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want more on then please email me at palmsounds.marketing@me.com.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

A useful Marketing and Communications Blog to follow

This is a great blog for information and advice on marketing and communication issues. Worth following.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Engineering rules applied to business


I saw this on Hypebot a while ago and knew I had to post it. Some simple themes to make you think about your business.

As most app developers are engineers of one sort or another none of these will be new or shocking, but taking them out of the engineering domain and into business is a leap that we don't often take.

It is always useful to think about principles from one area and applying them in another can sometimes bring surprising results.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

10 Tools for Social Media Marketing

This article from Traffikd has a few good points worth noting if you're using social media. Here's a couple I think are worth checking out.
  1. Social media for Firefox extenstion.
  2. Google Trends.
The article itself isn't long at all so worth giving it a glance here.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Use twitter properly for marketing and don't be a fail whale


This post at Smallbiztrends won't tell you anything truly revolutionary about how to use twitter but it is a useful reminder on what works well.

For me I think the main ways to use twitter for marketing are:
  1. retweet people who talk about your app
  2. If someone does tweet about your app then reply and thank them
  3. If it is a complaint or problem then deal with it really quickly if you can
  4. Tweet 'tips' and 'how-to's' if you can
There's more on SmallBiztrends and you can be sure I'll be tweeting more about twitter on a regular basis.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

50 Blogging Lessons!

Ok, this is a huge article with lots (well 50 to be precise) lessons on blogging. I'm not sure they're all useful for blogs related to a specific business rather then blogs on an industry, but even so, it is worth a read if you're considering starting a blog or wondering where to take yours next. Here's a few but by no means all the highlights:
  • Allow an absolute minimum of one year solid commitment (posting 3-5x weekly, or even daily) before you start to see compelling results.  Be mindful of the fact it may take longer.
  • Embrace being imperfect.  Trust me, you’re going to have things like typos and sentences which aren’t grammatically perfect.  Make peace with this soon and you’ll have a lot more fun.
  • Answer the “so what?” question with every post.  If you have no reason for being, don’t write it.
  • Realize there are no formalized rules or best practices – just start and find what works for you.
  • Take the viewpoint that blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Never worry about what others will think.
To be fair, there's lots more in there that will be of use to you, and as I said, it is a long article with lots of links, so maybe take it one bite at a time.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Small Business Marketing

Mashable is always a good source of information and advice for small businesses. This post gives some basic advice on using social media. If you're already using Facebook and twitter then skip to the end of the post for some more advanced stuff which might be useful to you.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Using video to promote your app

There are lots of ways you can promote your app and lots of places to do it, but one of the most useful in my opinion is the use of video.

There are a variety of ways to use video to promote your application and I'm just going to look at a few:

The 'How to' video
This is by far the most important in my book. No matter how simple or complex your app is it can still benefit from a 'how to' video or indeed a series of how to videos.

It is impossible to gauge how your users will get on with your app and the last thing you want them to do is to try it out and then find that they don't quite get how to use all the great features in it.

Making a video isn't difficult. Most modern digital cameras will shoot video too and you'll only need simple editing at best, so don't get hung up on production values. The most important thing in the video is showing off what the app can do and how to use it.

Keep videos under 3 minutes if possible. If your app has a lot of functions or uses then record multiple videos and turn it into a series so that users keep coming back to find out more

User's videos

If users make videos of themselves using your app then you should take advantage of the fact and embed these in your blog or tweet links to them, or in some way showcase the video.

Some developers have run video contests where the best user wins a prize. This can be a good way to get more attention on sites like YouTube, but the danger is if you don't get enough entries.

Promo Videos
Short videos showing your app in action can be very useful. These aren't so much a how to but a much shorter run through of features of the app. Enough to get people interested and often useful when you're getting close to launching an app or a major upgrade of features to an existing app.

Things to remember
If you're going to start making videos of your app(s) then remember to check in on who comments on them and what they're saying, it can be a very useful source of information and feedback.

Keep making videos, especially the how to type to help users get the most out of your software. People appreciate it, especially if your app is complex.

If you're running a series then space them out, releasing a video every few days or once a week.

Videos of your app can be a useful way to attract attention on blogs and social media so make sure your videos can be embedded.

I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

How do you evaluate your ideas?

So you're a good developer (sorry, a great developer) and you can make some awesome audio and music apps for a platform of your choice. But what kind of apps should you be developing?

Deciding what kind of app to devote your attention to is a big decision and one you want to get right. Apple's app store is a crowded place, and whilst the music category isn't too bad it can still be difficult to get noticed.

So making the right decision about what kind of app to develop is critical. Here are some important questions you should be asking yourself:
  1. What are users after at the moment and where are the trends going? That in itself is a tough question, but one way to see what people are asking for is to check the comments feed at Palm Sounds as users are very vocal about what the want and what they think is missing from an application.
  2. What kinds of apps seem to have been popular with users?
  3. What are the features that really get users attention?
These might seem like obvious questions, but all too often great apps get developed that users aren't interested in, and whilst that might be very satisfying it probably won't make too much money.

If you're going to develop a completely unique app then you need to be sure that the features and functionality in your app are really what users want.
If you're going to make a app which already exists, like a new synth app then how will yours differentiate itself. What will make it stand out in the app store? Will it be range of features or quality?

You need to be really clear about what will make users want to buy your app over others.

Being brutal about your ideas isn't easy, but unless you're developing apps just for fun then you need to be very critical and focus on the ideas that will really fly.
    I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com.

    Friday, 16 July 2010

    Monitoring your brand

    Brand monitoring is big business, really big business, but what does it mean and how can you do it for small developer studios and one man outfits?


    What is it?
    Brand monitoring is keeping a close eye on what people are saying about your product (or brand) online and in social networks. This can mean tracking mentions of your products on sites like twitter and facebook together with blogs and sites talking about what your products.

    Large companies can have teams dedicated to checking what people are saying about their products and brand and use sophisticated (and expensive) tools to track comments and opinions and how they spread.


    So what can Mobile Music App Developers Do about it?
    Unless you have lots of spare cash around you're going to need to take a more DIY approach to brand monitoring, but there are free tools on the internet to help with doing this. Here are a couple to start off with.
    1. Use Google Alerts to find out where you brand/app is being talked about. Setting up Google Alerts is really simple. You can ask it to check news / blogs / video and discussions on a keyword or phrase. You can ask it to deliver this to you daily or more frequently via email or feed.
    2. Use Hootsuite for twitter accounts. Hootsuite has a great range of inbuilt tools that not only make using twitter a lot easier, but allows you to check searches around your brand/app. You can perform simple keyword searches and check the klout score of people talking about your app.
    This is just a start of course, but once you've got these set up and they're working for you there's plenty of other tools you can use to monitor brand and reach. I'll talk about those in another post.

    I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want to discuss further then please email me at ashley@mobilemusicappmarketing.com. If you like this article then please consider sharing it using the buttons below.

    Thursday, 15 July 2010

    Relaunch: Why you need to market your app and how

    It has been quite a while since I wrote anything on this blog. I've been thinking a great deal about the mobile music app market, not just on Apple's app store, but also on other platforms too and how developers can get the best out their work in developing immensely creative applications. So I've decided to relaunch this blog and give it a real make over.

    Here's what you can expect from Mobile Music App Marketing:
    • A series of posts on how to spot gaps in the market
    • How to look at different market segments and target them specifically
    • More on social media and how to make it work for you
    • What your app needs to make it in the mobile music market
    • Where to find useful resources
    • Sample documents for marketing plans, press releases and more
    And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's lots more too, so stay tuned, as there will be content coming much more regularly than before.

    I hope you find it useful.

    Friday, 26 March 2010

    What's in a review?

    Once again I have to apologise for not posting anything to this blog last week. It was a busy week for me personally and there wasn't anything that I really wanted to say.

    However, this week is different. There's been a number of articles about developers being asked to pay for reviews, so I wanted to explore the whole area of reviews and what they're worth.

    To start with I have to acknowledge that there are a lot of apps in the app store. I've just checked the UK store and there are 322 pages of music apps. That's a lot, a hell of a lot. The last figures I saw for total apps on the app store was somewhere around 170,000. That's enormous. So how do you get your app noticed?

    Reviews is one way, but what is it worth, especially if you have to pay for a review? This article says that developers are being asked for $25 to get a review posted, and there have have been plenty of similar reports too.

    The big review sites have almost as many apps in them as the iTunes store, so is there a real benefit to getting a review in one of them? That really is a question for developers, and I'd be very interested in knowing what you think.

    Of course for music application developers there are plenty of more specialised sites like CDM, Matrixsynth , Synthtopia, CreativeApplications, and of course PalmSounds!. Getting into one of those will get you in front of an audience that, whilst smaller that the big review sites, will at the very least be actually interested in your kind of application, and, to the best of my knowledge none of them will charge you to be on featured on their site.

    So, back to my original question. Is a paid for review actually worth it? I'd love to hear opinions on this, and I will follow up on them too.

    I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want more on then please email me at palmsounds.marketing@me.com.

    Friday, 12 March 2010

    In the mix

    One of the things that marketing people always talk about is the marketing mix (at least the ones I know do anyway). The marketing mix can be made up of a bunch of different things. The core (if I can use that phrase) consists of the 4 P's of marketing. They are:
    • Price
    • Promotion
    • Place
    • Product
    Today I thought I'd explore these a bit and see what relevance they have to marketing mobile music making applications.

    Price
    Pricing your app needs very careful consideration. Pricing too low mean less revenue for you obviously but may well produce higher sales. Pricing too high will mean lower take up. The app store has created the well known 'race to $0.99' for developers, which, whilst great for consumers, is not a great thing for developers.

    One good example of decisions around pricing is how the Arduino board was priced. Apparently, Massimo Banzi decided to price the board at around the cost of a pizza and a beer so that students / hobbyists could have the choice between going out for pizza and a beer or starting that project they've been meaning too. Also, the Arduino is priced to be not too expense so that you are afraid you'll break it!

    How does this help app pricing? Well perhaps developers should be pricing around the idea of what the user will be able to achieve / accomplish with the app? If an app gives me the ability to do a whole host of amazing stuff or produce music in lots of ways then I have no issues with paying more than the usual $0.99.

    The other route which is starting to creep into music apps is the 'in app purchase' route. I have no issues with this whatsoever. I think that if you can pay more for additional content or functionality within an app then that's worth paying for. I'd like to see more in app purchase options in apps for getting hold of extra functionality etc. However, caution needs to be applied here in terms of what kind of functionality is in standard updates and what is purchasable in the app.

    Pricing also needs to be thought of in terms of the product lifecycle as well, although the lifecycle deserves a whole post to itself. But to cut a long story short, it is perfectly reasonable to alter pricing over the lifecycle of the product.

    Promotion
    Promotion can take lots of different forms. It can be about price, special offers, advertising, PR and more.

    Today there's an interesting example of a price promotion. Nanoloop has had a price drop from $8.99 to $0.99. Now this is clearly a promotional activity to drive up sales of the app. Nothing wrong with that at all in marketing terms. However, a price promotion needs to be carefully timed. Nanoloop was only released on the 16th of Feb and to drop the price this early in the app's lifecycle can be a risk. The risk here is to alienate the early adopters of the app.

    A number of developers have used events for promotional purposes such as PatternMusic and Agile Partners at MacWorld. The impact of events is difficult to measure, but they can be worth it if you're able to do them on a reasonable budget.

    PR is a great way of promoting your work. PR doesn't have to be just linked to the launch of an application, but can be used regularly to showcase music made by users with your application, users comments and testimonials etc. But don't be tricked into thinking that good PR is easy. If you're issuing a press release it has to be newsworthy to get noticed and needs to be well written too. Choosing who to release to is important too as there are lots of people interested in iPhone related news these days. Again, PR really deserves a whole post to itself, and it is on my list to write about.

    But there are lots of other ways to usefully promote your product. Simple things like social media which I've talked about a bit. Having a straightforward and simple web site. Making sure that there's a manual / faq / troubleshooting page for your app too, which might sound obvious but can be overlooked.

    Advertising is worth thinking about if you have budget for it, but be sure you can measure what you're getting for your money!

    Place
    This is about distribution. Obviously for iPhone developers there is only one actual outlet for distribution, but lots of routes to get there. I've no idea how many review sites there are now, the number keeps getting bigger all the time, and some of them are so huge that just getting your app in there won't necessarily get you noticed which can be just a waste of time.

    Getting into blogs like CreativeApplications or Palm Sounds (of course) can get your work in front of an audience who really want to know about apps like yours. I don't intend to create a list of all the good sites or blogs to go to, but I am happy to maintain a list on this blog about which ones developers find useful. If you want me to maintain this list, then comment in your suggestions and I'll put up a list in the sidebar.

    Product
    Finally product. I'm not going to spend much time on this as I've already posted earlier in this blog on the subject. You know better than me about what you want your product to be and how you want it to work. I do get approached by developers to sound out new ideas, and I'm always happy to give advice in confidence if you would like feedback.

    There are other versions of the 4 P's. I think one I saw went up to 8 P's of marketing, but I think for now 4 is ok.

    I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want more on then please email me at palmsounds.marketing@me.com.

    Friday, 5 March 2010

    Competitions

    A number of iPhone app developers have run competitions in the last year or so to promote interest in their music apps, and whilst I've never taken part in any of them I've always enjoyed watching the entries and the seeing who the winner is and why.

    Many of these competitions have focused in on users making videos of themselves playing the app or making some kind of music with the app. The videos that are submitted get on the developers site and of course on YouTube and generate interest in the product, which is of course the main reason for running the competition.

    I've no idea of how well these competitions do in terms of generating sales of apps, but the very fact that I see a constant stream of them suggests that they work to some degree.

    One current example is RJDJ's competition around their Love app from Air. This one focuses on users making recordings from the app. I know from listening to the RJDJ team talk about the competition at Open Music Media that they're getting plenty of entries to it.

    One of the biggest was Smule's competition around their ocarina app which generated enormous interest but also had a huge amount of prize money to give away.

    Firstly, you're app needs to lend itself to a competition type activity. If you look at the smule competition or the Star6 competition they both involved users making videos of live performance with the app in some context. If you're app doesn't lend itself to video then don't go that way. However the RJDJ competition involves user generated content which is just as accessible.

    Competitions can generate a lot of interest, but are also a lot of work to administer. You have to know what you want to achieve from it and be able to measure how much interest and revenue you generate as a result. There are no guarantees with this kind of promotion. If you go down this route you must define how you're going to do it and what you want to get back. How will people enter the competition and how will you judge the winner. What's the prize and how will you get it to the eventual winner wherever they are in the world.

    There's plenty to think about, but there's no doubt that as a method of promotion if can work really well.

    I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want more on then please email me at palmsounds.marketing@me.com.

    Thursday, 25 February 2010

    10 Things to do with Twitter

    There's lots of things you can do with twitter and there are even more blog posts around that will give you valuable tips and information on what you should and shouldn't do on twitter. So I thought I'd write something that was a bit more focused around marketing for mobile music applications. Here's my list:
    1. First off, if you're not on twitter, then get on it. Set up an account and make sure your account name and bio easily describe your brand or your app(s).
    2. Start searching for people who are interested in mobile music making applications. This is easy as you can start with Palm Sounds. Search for your app name as there are probably people already talking about it. Follow people who are talking about your app and other music making apps, it'll start to give you an idea of who is interested and what kind of direction the market is going in.
    3. Try out some more advanced twitter tools like TweetDeck, and Hootsuite. Both of these are good for searching and also have mobile clients.
    4. Use twitter to respond to what people are saying about your software. Respond to comments and suggestions. Retweet what users are saying about your apps and about music making in general
    5. Add value to what you do on twitter by offering promo codes to people who send you a direct message
    6. Use twitter to show people what's coming up with screen shots and links to feature previews or sound clips of how new features or apps can be used
    7. Get feedback from users. Ask questions about how and where they use your app and then reuse the information in a blog post or featured user section
    8. Float ideas on what you might do next or new features to add to existing apps. Make the user part of the process
    9. Consider adding twitter into your app itself so that users can twitter what they've made with the app
    10. Measure. After all, you probably want to make some money from your app, so measure how twitter works for you. Twitter clients like Hootsuite offer stats on links followed and allows you to integrate google analytics into your links. Make sure that twitter is actually working for you.
    I think it is fair to say that twitter is going to be around for a while now, and it can be an excellent way to communicate with your users and people who might be interested in what you are doing.

    I hope that you find this useful. If you have suggestions for future articles or if there's anything in the article you want more on then please email me at palmsounds.marketing@me.com.

    Friday, 19 February 2010

    Gaps in the market and how to find them

    Ok, I know I initially said that I'd try and post something to this blog about marketing once a week, and last week I failed and didn't post anything. Apologies.

    One of the comments on my first post raised the question of what customers actually want, and so I thought I'd try to focus on that this week.

    When native apps first came along the first music apps were comparatively simple. Keyboards, drum apps etc. But as time has gone on, all types of iPhone apps have got progressively more complex and sophisticaed. This is to be expected, not just because users always want more sophistication, but also because developers love to add features and see where they can take their creations.

    But with 75 million users of iPhones and iPod Touches worldwide there's got to be scope for more than just the most sophisticated music and audio applications. If we take a look at some of the apps in the top 100 on iTunes you can see that this is true. Apps like Trope from Brian Eno sit alongside NLog synth and Argon. A couple of the most consistently popular apps are PocketGuitar and Ocarina. The point I'm making is that there are users at all levels and a modular synth isn't going to be of interest to everyone. Whatever users are after they'll find something close in the app store, whether that's a modular synth or a keyboard that plays cat sounds.

    So how do you work out what it is they want in the first place? That's the real question, and sadly there is no simple answer. If you had the resources you could commission research into what music application users are after and where the gaps in the market are. This would cost you a huge amount of money and you couldn't be sure of the results either.

    You could use secondary research in places like the British Library (London) where you can find loads of market reports covering just about anything you can think of, but unless you're very lucky indeed you won't find a report that's going to meet you exact needs. You could commission a researcher to do this kind of trawl through the market for you, which will still cost you, but will take less time.

    It is also possible to infer where the market is going by looking at what some of the big players are doing. For example, Akai's move into the iPhone market says a lot about what they think the market will do, and I can't imagine that they would invest on that scale without researching the market and trends thoroughly.

    If all this starts to sound too complex then don't worry. It doesn't have to be that way. Start small. If you want to find out about what people are buying then just look at the top 100 apps in the music category. There's also lots of research available on the net. There are plenty of blogs and sites that will give you info on reports from industry and trade bodies on trends in music and technology and the cross over like this report from Gartner.

    Don't be put off by the amount of info that is out there or think that there aren't gaps in the market. There are, and there's lots of room for new apps, for innovation and also for simple apps that meet a need.

    I hope that this is useful. If you have suggestions for the kind of thing that'll be useful for future articles please contact me or if there's anything in the article you want more on then please email me at palmsounds.marketing@me.com.

    Friday, 5 February 2010

    What is this marketing thing anyway?

    There's so much stuff you can read about marketing that it can become almost impossible to start out. There's huge amount written about marketing iPhone applications, and even at least one app about marketing iPhone apps. So where do you start? What do you take on board and what do you discard?

    That's a hard question set of questions.

    What I hope to do in this blog is to make some comments and suggestion about a variety of marketing methods that might be useful to you.

    Sometimes they might not be relevant to you, and sometimes they will be. Some ideas will work for one developer and not for others. It isn't an exact science to say the least, and that's a big part of the battle, but I hope it will be useful.

    I decided to start writing this for a number of reasons. Probably the most important is that I love making music, and for years I've loved mobile music. Now that mobile music creation (although I don't like that as a title/genre) has really taken off and seems to be going from strength to strength I thought I'd try to do something to help app developers in marketing their apps to an ever increasing audience.

    I plan to write one post a week on this blog, to highlight something you might want to try out, or perhaps change about how you market your product.

    Please tell me if you think it is worthwhile, or not. Please tell me if you there are particular areas you'd like me to focus on, or areas you think have been done to death elsewhere.

    I want this blog to be a resource for anyone trying to market their music software in an increasingly crowded market. Let's see where we go with it.