App developers are engaged in an eternal struggle to acquire users, keep them, and understand what the heck they’re doing.
But it’s the “who” and the “why” that are the most compelling questions.
On Thursday, app analytics company App Annie released an expansion of its mobile intelligence product line designed to help advertisers and app publishers map the relationships between apps and to identify which app audiences have similar characteristics and consumption habits. The tool, called Audience Intelligence, also digs deeper into user demographics, offering breakdowns of users by app, country, store, education, parental status, gender, age, and income, as well as a host of other attributes.
For example, take something like the Deal or No Deal app, based on the TV game show. Using the Audience Intelligence tool, it’s possible to see that the Deal or No Deal app has a strong female user base on iOS and is played by all age groups. From there, the tool could also index the app to see how the characteristics of its user base compare to those of other users across platforms, and to see which other apps the Deal or No Deal audience is attracted to.
Apps can also use the tool to get insight into the competition.
“Using the related apps feature allows you to see companion apps that are associated with your competitors’ apps, which could be used for targeted ad buying,” said App Annie senior product manager Mark Ungerer, who cited app discovery, effective targeting, and mobile platform navigation as the three main advertising-related challenges facing developers today.
“It’s always important to understand the demographics of a competitive app, [and] if you do find variation from your app, you can use that data for targeted advertising buys that may gain you users you didn’t know about,” Ungerer said.
Speaking of users you didn’t know about – and beyond creating lookalike audiences, which clients can do using demographic data provided by App Annie – Audience Intelligence helps identify audiences that may not obviously be good fits, but that could nonetheless perform well.
In a previous conversation with AdExchanger, Kate O’Loughlin, GM of advertising business at Tapad, noted that some truly valuable insights simply aren’t obvious. O’Loughlin gave the example of her husband, who enjoys home brewing and often researches the topic on his iPad. On the surface he might seem like a bad target for diaper ads, but the O’Loughlins are new parents, and he often reads articles about child development while he’s commuting on the train. Home brewing and Huggies – who knew?
This kind of deeper dig is what the Audience Intelligence tool is after. “You may find by looking at competitors that there are surprises, like, say, a heavy number of older users or many users with kids,” Ungerer said. “It’s always fun to play with data and uncover insights you weren’t even looking for the the first place.”
App Annie is tracking the top 10,000 apps by download in the iOS and Google Play stores to power the Audience Intelligence launch. A sentiment analysis feature that will analyze user reviews, quality issues, app usability, and stickiness is planned for the early part of 2015. Headquartered in San Francisco, App Annie has roughly 270 employees. To date, the company has received four rounds of funding totaling $39 million, the most recent of which was a $17 million Series D led by e.ventures, Sequoia Capital, Greycroft Partners and IDG Capital Partners.