As app stores continue to grow, it gets tougher and tougher for developers to attract attention for their apps. As a result, some are beginning to market their apps even before they’re done writing code.
Recently a cottage industry has sprung up with startups like Ooomf, PreApps and Appspire.me offering pre-launch marketing services for the mobile development industry. Sean Casto, PreApps’ founder noted, “Most [developers] don’t have a background in marketing or publicity so they don’t really see the need. We’re trying to bring the same tools that the app stores would offer but before you would actually put anything in the store.”
But not everyone agrees that these services are helpful. “I counsel clients to not do a ton of pre-launch publicity. I’m aware that this advice flies in the face of many app marketers strategies,” said Jeff Rutherford, co-founder of APPetite PR. “We think it’s extremely important that if and when you do break through the info clutter and pique someone’s interest in your app, it’s vitally important that the app is available for download immediately. Otherwise, in this frenetic media culture, you’re asking someone to bookmark or set a reminder on their calendar to check back and download your app once it has been related. And, we all know, that the number of people who will take that action to set a reminder is incredibly small. So, in our opinion, spending tons of time on pre-launch publicity for your app can actually be wasted effort.”