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Report: 70% of developers frustrated by ad networks, app marketing services

Papaya Mobile's research shows lack of trust around eCPM claims, struggles with measurement and more
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Even with dozens of options available to them, the majority of developers say they're unhappy with mobile ad networks and similar marketing services, with trust outweighing cost among the most critical factors, according to a recent survey from Papaya Mobile. The company polled more than 1,000 developers for its report, which was published via its own app marketing and discovery service, AppFlood.

  • Seventy-eight percent of those surveyed said they are spending less than $5,000 on marketing their apps.
  • Small developers (those employing 15 people or fewer) are the most frustrated with app distribution at 72 percent versus large developers (51 employees or more) who are the least frustrated at 62 percent.
  • Twenty-six percent of small developers said they had simply "taken a chance" when deciding which mobile ad service to use, versus 18 percent of medium and 11 percent of large developers.
  • Fifty-three percent of small developers said they felt the cost of acquiring customers is too expensive vs. 33 percent of large developers
  • Seventy percent of developers felt that effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPM) claims are exaggerated.

"To properly earn the trust of today's cost-conscious developers, for whom meaningful results and a positive ROI on their marketing investment are a priority, ad providers must be prepared to be more transparent with their app marketing offering, especially in and around campaign planning, reporting and measurement," the report said. "One Indie app developer sums up their struggle in personal terms, 'I put more money in than I see returned. [It's a] Sad story for an Indie developer who is struggling to support his family.'"

Source: AppFlood

You could write off research like this as a ploy for Papaya Mobile to get more business for AppFlood, but there's some genuinely interesting data here, which could help the marketing industry as a whole understand why developers haven't necessarily been eager to sign up for their various products and service. Another area that stood out was the fact that very few (nine percent) of small and medium-sized developers saw any value in using public relations (PR) agencies to promote their work. Overall, the report is worth reading if only for some of the candid comments from various respondents about their app marketing frustrations.

For more:
- see the full report (PDF)

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