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Spending large budget on marketing, does it justify a ROI

varcharvarchar NYCPosts: 138Registered Users @ @
Hey everyone,

So I am trying to figure something out which I am sure is on the mind of all of us.

First let me say, I am an app developer, specifically with focus on "free games" with in-app purchases.

I have about $25,000 to spend on marketing of the games, or specifically a game, but can't figure out something.

So lets say with $20k I am able to get the game into TOP 25 overall in USA. Math-wise that is possible to happen by incentivized downloads. So now the game is in the top for a day, IF the game is good, then i just hope organically it will stay for about 1 week. Judging by history of other popular games, usually you can stay in TOP 25 overall for about 7-9 days and then continue to be in TOP 50 overall for another 12-15 days.

My question is simple:

How do you justify spending $5k, $10k, or any amount of money and make money back?

Yes yes, I know we are all passionate about making apps... but the bottom line is don't we also want to make money as well?

And we know that you can make money via IAPs and also via ad networks, etc... But we also know a fact that about 2% of the downloads will earn you IAP dollars, and about 1% will earn you ad revenue.

So clearly the math does not work at all. You spend $5k lets say, and will the game make back $5k? Or even if you follow the laws of large numbers and spend $25k on marketing, will the game bring back the $25k over its lifetime?

Can anyone shed some light on this subject?

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Replies

  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,547New Users @ @ @ @ @
  • markofjohnsonmarkofjohnson California USAPosts: 133Registered Users @ @
    It all depends on your game. If its good and it monetizes OK, then ROI positive is possible. By, like, tons. What you do is measure monetization and retention first, before you put in a lot of money to promotion. You can even test organic lift from a chart promotion in a smaller country first, in order to give you information about whether its worth doing in a larger country. For us, it all comes from the organic lift. By being high in the charts you get way more organic users than you got paid installs. So you can afford to make less per user than you paid, because you are not monetizing the paid installs, you are monetizing the organic installs. But you only get a lot of organic installs if your game is appealing and fun.
    markj.net & focusedapps.com
    Hit Tennis & Super Txt
  • ComboAppComboApp Chicago, ILPosts: 333New Users @ @
    edited July 2013
    Prepare a needed product and promote smart.
    If you question marketing - check if any of the top apps has become successful w/o it.
    p.s. promotion is only a part of marketing, sometimes they forget about it.
    The question is in finding the perfect mix for your app(s).
    ComboApp Marketing & PR Agency<br />
    <a href="http://marketing.comboapp.com"; target="_blank">iPhone App Marketing</a>
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,547New Users @ @ @ @ @
    edited July 2013

    It all depends on your game. If its good and it monetizes OK, then ROI positive is possible. By, like, tons. What you do is measure monetization and retention first, before you put in a lot of money to promotion. You can even test organic lift from a chart promotion in a smaller country first, in order to give you information about whether its worth doing in a larger country. For us, it all comes from the organic lift. By being high in the charts you get way more organic users than you got paid installs. So you can afford to make less per user than you paid, because you are not monetizing the paid installs, you are monetizing the organic installs. But you only get a lot of organic installs if your game is appealing and fun.

    I agree with your points.

    But, wouldn't the cheapest route be to use a botfarm.

    I realize they're illegal, but your logic, which I agree with validates the use of botfarms.

    Drive it up chart anyway you can, using the cheapest methods available, and harvest the organic downloads.

    Last I looked, botfarms were significantly cheaper than any other method that will drive it up the charts quickly.

    But, it is cheating and frowned upon.

    And yet a lot of top players have used them...

  • canada130113canada130113 Posts: 87New Users @
    With botfarms is you will see a DRASTIC drop in downloads. Once you stop pushing with the bot farms they will drastically cut off. You can see which apps do this due to the sudden decline in installs. It isn't by accident these apps climb and fall so fast.

    That being said, there are ways to monetize from promotions if you have properly implemented a monetizing system, have found a decent CPI system and, with a little luck, catch the eye of bloggers and get free publicity to further drive your app and further organic downloads. I wouldn't invest in botfarms honestly. They seem like a good idea in theory but I honestly believe the cons out weigh the pros
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