App marketing a/b testing

Mobile app marketing case study

Ever wondered why people still make apps for a niche that already has a ton of apps with little to no space to squeeze in? Well, for the most part entrepreneurs, product managers and marketers all know a little secret – There’s always a possibility!

Most people will be surprised to see how quickly these folks can identify and calculate an opportunity. If you are interested in identifying/validating your own idea, hop over to Noah Kagan‘s interview by Tim Ferris and do it yourself.

When it comes to market an app idea, most usually follow the same basic pre launch and post launch strategies: App store optimization, PPC ads, Blog mentions/Press coverage, Social media marketing and other usual stuff. While, all of these steps are necessary and shouldn’t be ignored, app marketing is about getting more creative with your efforts.

Mobile app marketing should be creative

Why is there such a need to get creative?
1. It helps you innovate.
2. Play store search is broken. I myself have often found Playstore not being able to lead towards an app I searched for, while searching on Google search easily gets me there (quickly!). You need to make sure that you get discovered on Playstore, creativity helps you get discovered easily.

Further, even if you use app store intelligence tools which are a bit pricey, you won’t be sure if those results are accurate. If only creative mobile app marketing had a book written on it, right? I wish for such a book too! Most of these creative app marketing practices are black hat and are almost buried in depths of Google search. But, if you look at the playstore closely, you might actually end up finding a few of them. Although, it still would be difficult for you to draw a clear line there.

A reddit user ‘Rudolf895′ accidentally came across a network of apps that appear to have the same functionality, shared the same app screenshots, and were infact from the same developer.
Here’s the screenshot that he shared

App marketing tricks

Here’s something that I noticed about these apps:
1. Apps with same functionality but different name had different ratings.
2. These apps had almost all possible combinations that a prospective user might feed into the search bar.
3. The logo variation was very strategically placed for A/B testing.

Even though Playstore is against duplicate content, this developer was able to circumvent and perform his A/B testing without any problems. Only one of these app had a brand name associated with itself – Zoemob Family safety.

A layman’s first speculation would be that this app developer is trying to own the app results, while in my opinion this was just an A/B test to get the best results. And now that it is almost a year since this screenshot was discovered, and all duplicate apps except for the brand name one are gone.

A year ago, Zoemob used a different logo while they were testing:
App marketing a/b testing

The current logo that they are currently using belongs to one of the duplicate app’s logo, see for yourself:
App store optimization logo

With 60,000+ ratings and more than a million downloads on Play store, the strategy has worked quite well.

I am not actually recommending going blackhat to get a million users for your app, but the point is creativity works well with marketing and product development efforts. Even Unicorns like Airbnb once relied on bots to get users. In the words of Andrew Chen:

A traditional marketer would not even be close to imagining the integration above

That’s all for this post, hope I helped you in someway. Have something to say? Drop me a comment!

About the author

Parikshit Joshi

I am a Coffee-addict-with lost counts of consumption. Apart from this addiction, I have a deep passion for data and connected architectures. I ingrain technology into business processes to bring the next level disruptive solutions.

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