App Marketing Conversations: The Get Button and Product Hunt for User Acquisition
In this weeks App Marketing Conversations, Ryan Morel of GameHouse, Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ by Tune, and Robi Ganguly of Apptentive discuss Apple moving to the “Get” button in the App Store, and how mobile publishers may be able to utilize Product Hunt for User Acquisition.
Watch the video here, or read the transcript below!
Ryan: Good morning and welcome to App Marketing Conversations. I am Ryan Morel with GameHouse. As always, I’m here with Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ by Tune, Robi Ganguly of Apptentive. Getting really close to the mustache. It’s a little weird.
Ian: It’s got a life of its own.
Ryan: Okay. So we’re going to talk a couple of things today. So, the first one is a change that just happened without any news around was Apple changing the App Store icon from “Free” to “Get.” And they didn’t really say anything. But it’s clearly in direct response to them getting slapped in the EU where they’re probing them on the word “Free” being misleading more around apps that have in-app purchase. So what’s your initial reaction to this?
Ian: My initial reaction is, good that they changed it. It does feel like apps that are heavily dependent upon in-app purchases should probably not be listed as “Free.” I think “Get” is just like a strange word to use. Why not “Download” or “Install” or…
Ryan: Or “Use.”
Ian: . . . “Use.”
Ian: But, at the same time, I would’ve liked them to have been a little bit less like, “We’re just going to do this and change it on our customers and change it on all of our developers and make it a little bit more obvious what was actually happening and tell people about it and tell people why they did it.” So pluses and minuses. Ultimately, I’m not sure it affects too much, but…
Ryan: Yeah. What do you think?
Robi: I mean, I think when everything is “Get” instead of “Free,” then that effect is not very high. So it has more to do with them covering their asses than really an important communication step in favor of consumers.
Ryan: Right. Yeah.
Ian: Which I think needs to probably start to come from the developers themselves, right, rather than from the platform owners.
Ryan: Yeah. But I think it’s a sign here is that, at least from my perspective, is Apple especially, Apple is a company that is known to not respond to outside threat in a positive manner, right?
Ryan: So, but they are responding to this. And I think one of the points here would be that there’s now real money involved and large sums, especially from a developer perspective, that you really have to start paying attention to the regulations, to childrens’ protective acts, etc. Because people will come after you and you likely have a lot of money for them to come after. Right? It’s a dramatic change for them, wouldn’t you say?
Ian: I think you’re exactly… I think COPPA is such a big deal that doesn’t get talked about…
Ian: And the moment that the government starts to want to actually enforce at a bigger level, and they’re starting to show signs of that, there’s going to be a lot of people hurt.
Robi: Yeah. Yeah. I think that the developers and companies we see getting ahead of that are very much concerned that if they don’t do it at some point, they will get blasted, basically, by the governments of the regions they operate in. But in particular when people are operating in Europe, they start to get really sensitive about data storage and…
Robi: … privacy and PII. And I think the more that app marketers are thinking about this and getting in front of it, the better you’re going to be, because having to go fix this stuff retroactively in a rushed manner is not going to be fun.
Ian: Yeah. I think if you are a marketer, you really have to make sure that you are using the best tools, using the best partners, that they all understand this stuff. Then it’s just like, selfishly, from our perspective, this is why we hired a chief privacy officer. Really we’re handling data that goes back and forth a lot. And we needed to make sure that we were not only in compliance ourselves but that our customers are in compliance, that we can help them understand the ecosystem.
Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. So I think in summary, I would say, this has been the Wild West for a long time, and it might still be Wild West-ish, but there are clearly regulators in town now…
Ryan Morel: … and so you’ve just got to be a little bit more careful.
Robi: Right. Right.
Ryan: Okay. So the second thing we’re going to talk about, Robi had brought up Product Hunt this morning for different reasons then we’ll talk about here. So my question to you guys is, is Product Hunt or is something like Product Hunt a viable option for developers to use for additional… as an additional discovery mechanism, and does it matter? Do they need it?
Robi: Well, so I think you should always be exploring new channels and testing to see what’s working for you. And I’m definitely seeing more mobile labs launching or talking about a new version on Product Hunt, so it’s worth experimenting with. I have yet to hear it from anybody anecdotally that, “Wow! I got a ton of downloads and lots of… lots of interest around that. But if you want to try and surface what you’re doing and get it in front of early adopters, it’s probably useful, and from that perspective it’s just another channel you’re experimenting with.
Ian: From my perspective, it’s less about marketing to consumers and more about marketing to Silicon Valley, the techno-rati.
Ian: Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, right? But there’s a a lot of VCs who look at Product Hunt. There’s a lot of influential people who look at Product Hunt. And if your goal is to make sure that you get out to those early adopters, or if you’re trying to raise a round and you want to raise your profile, that’s all useful things to do. I’m just not convinced in any way, shape or form that you’re going to… at least today, right? Maybe this changes in the future. But I just don’t think that you’re going to actually see any real adoption from Product Hunt.
Ryan: Yeah. Okay. So summary there would be, it’s worth trying, because continuing to test new channels for exact position is a good thing but unlikely to drive a meaningful install but maybe meaningful ancillary benefits.
Ian: Yeah. Where I think is a similar idea that has consumer appeal, that I don’t think… first of all, they’ve done a good job of making sure this doesn’t happen. But second of all, I don’t think people have done a good job of trying to understand how to influence it, is Reddit, right? Reddit has huge traffic, community driven. Feels like for the right opportunity you should be able to understand how to market to those guys. The one… the people who I think do the best at this are actually entertainment and movies…
Ian: … right? Where they’ll have… the sort of standard play for the last 50 years has been, “I have a movie coming out. I’m going to have my actors go on the Tonight Show, Late Show. And they’re going to do the rounds, and now they’re also doing… they’re going to go on the Tonight Show and the Late Show and they’re going to do an AMA on Reddit. And that draws a lot of interest and publicity. And I think that app developers and app marketers could find interesting ways to do that type of thing as well.
Ryan: Yeah. Interesting. Okay. Anything else to add here, Robi?
Robi: Maybe just going back to the previous point, like if you’re a marketer and you’re not thinking about privacy, you’re not thinking about the fact that you’re free app is not really free, and when you get better, you should get out in front of that [inaudible 00:07:41]. This holiday season’s going to be huge, and in the aftermath of the holiday season’s going to be pretty big.
Ryan: Okay. All right. Well, thanks very much for watching. Make sure to check out the other segments from Ian and Robi. If you like this video, subscribe to our channel. And we’ll see you next time.