Results from the Mobile UA Questionnaire

Posted on January 4, 2016 by Eric

A few weeks ago, I linked to a questionnaire from the header of this site and in the newsletter (not a subscriber yet? Sign up! The newsletter goes out each Monday and includes that week's most popular links) that consisted of seven questions:

1) What types of apps does your company make?

2) How large is your company's user acquisition team?

3) Have you considered using a user acquisition agency in the past?

4) How much money does your company spend on mobile UA each month?

5) How do you discover new user acquisition tools and services?

6) When a sales representative cold contacts you, are you more or less likely to consider their product?

7) Do you subscribe to (ie. spend money on) an "App Store Intelligence Service"?

The questionnaire was live for two weeks; 664 people responded. Below is a selection of graphs made from the results, grouped around various dimensions, along with some brief commentary for each.

This graph breaks down the responses by various UA spend buckets (I chose the bucket ranges more or less arbitrarily). Interestingly, this graph reveals a "dead zone" of UA spend in the $100k - $199k range; this multimodal distribution reinforces the notion that commercially viable apps can be supported by very large amounts of UA spending, and apps are either commercially viable or not. That is, the winner-takes-all nature of the app economy doesn't facilitate middling successes.

This graph breaks down the above by UA team size. Unsurprisingly, developers spending >$1MM per month tend to employ larger UA teams, with about 80% employing five or more people within their UA functions. The opposite is also true.

This graph breaks down the responses by UA team size.

This graph breaks down the responses by app type. The results are obviously skewed towards game developers. This isn't surprising given that game developers are likely spending the most money on mobile marketing right now (and thus are more likely to visit a website like this), although that could potentially change in the coming year.

This graph depicts UA spend by app type. The "Games" category has the most diverse distribution of spend ranges, as well as the most developers spending large amounts of money on UA.

This question breaks down the responses to the question about whether or not a developer had ever considered and / or used a mobile marketing agency. Only 20% of developers indicated that they have used one, but ca. 50% have considered using one in the past.

Interesting, the survey results reveal that a majority of developer subscribe to some app store intelligence service. Tools like App Annie Intelligence, Priori Data, and Appscotch are becoming indispensable to developers for the purposes of planning and budgeting mobile UA campaigns.

Unsurprisingly, the developers that spend the most on mobile UA are the most likely to subscribe to these services.

In terms of the discovery of new tools and services related to UA, the vast majority of developers come across new products via either self-directed research or through colleagues in the industry. Very few discover new products from outreach by salespeople.

This notion is further supported by the results of the question that asks: "When a sales representative cold contacts you, are you more or less likely to consider their product?".

  • Erin Mitchell

    Interesting numbers! How does the $1-$49,000 bucket break down? That's a fairly big range and I imagine lots of smaller companies will fall in there.

  • This is a great post. I love data aggregated from surveys like this. But I wanted to point something out to make sure the stats aren't misleading. 80% of the people who responded to this survey are in gaming. But that isn't necessarily because most of the mobile UA money is spent in gaming. That's also a function of the people you are marketing to join this community. For example, I'm trying to reconcile that with this: