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Mobango sees 500 percent increase in app downloads

January 28, 2010

mobangoMobango has seen a 500 percent increase in downloads in the last year, making it the fastest growing independent mobile application store.

Mobile Commerce Daily’s Chris Harnick interviewed Fabio Pezzotti, CEO of Mobango, London. Here is what he had to say:

What do you attribute to the success?
You could attribute our success to a number of things, some external factors would be the explosion of the market in terms of interest, coupled with the increase in smartphone sales.

As for what we’ve done to ensure Mobango is successful, we’ve provided the increasing number of people using the Internet on their mobile, with a superior product and service, that allows users from any country, with any handset to find all they need in terms of applications as well as sharing their mobile content, in one single place.

What has Mobango’s marketing strategy been in terms of mobile?
Most of our growth is organic and coming from world of mouth, content distribution, contant sharing and search.

But we do selectively buy mobile traffic in order to support our customers, the developers, who want to penetrate and grow in different markets.

Mobango’s pay-per-download (PPD) model allows to create very targeted – and valuable – distribution, through mobile application downloads.

What’s the strategy behind the PPD system?
PPD is a clear win-win situation.

Mobango generates mobile traffic 100 percent interest in downloads at a very low cost.

Developers and application publishers only pay for downloads generated by Mobango, through a bidding process that allow them to set daily budgets, maximum bids, and even specify by country and handset.

The advantage compared to cost-per-click (CPC) marketing campaign is clear: For every 100 clicks bought by developers, only a tiny fraction generates downloads.

The rest of the clicks can be considered wasted money. With Mobango, developers only pay for the download of its application, representing a much great return on investment.

What challenges does it address?
One of the main challenges facing a developer is getting their content into the hands of users in the most cost-effective way possible. It is not unusual to hear about acquisition costs as high as $3-$4 through CPC networks.

With Mobango though, application developers can start distributing their application for as little as 10 US cents and we estimate that savings can be as high as 90 per cent.

The more precise the targeting, there’s a high amount of competition on the same bid is high and the more the bid goes up. In the end developers only pay for the downloads and can easily build its budgets with no uncertainty.

Another advantage of PPD is that it matches the exact requirement of the application compatibility, toward the exact phone targeted. CPC networks lack this precise capability with the result that several users who access the application cannot use it.

What do you think these numbers mean about the overall application market?
The numbers that Mobango has reached are all coming from off deck, mobile Internet browsing.

We do not rely on wireless carrier deals, we are growing together with a market that is growing very fast and which, very soon, will be integral part of all the mobile marketing budgets.

Are brands learning that applications can be good marketing tools?
Brands are recognising this at a faster pace than we anticipated. We are clearly seeing interest from major brands and agencies towards mobile applications, similar to that of the early days of the Internet.

Now an application can provide a new, sticky way for brands to communicate campaigns and promotions to their customers.

In our business plan, brands have the very top spot in terms of potential and we’re already cooperating with several companies which create applications and build campaigns for brands and that have run numerous campaigns on Mobango just over a single month.

Budgets are still quite small compared to the overall interactive budgets, but there’s no denying the strength and clarity of interest.

What advice can you give to marketers in regards to applications?
It might sound a little simple, but build applications that are really useful and entertaining. Do not market or distribute applications that simply link to a mobile site or with limited use for the customer.

Applications are useful if they allow faster navigation, ease of use, update of information in the background, replace or complement the use of the corresponding service on the web, push news and updates to your phone.

Perhaps most important of all if you want to generate interest and attention, is to give the applications away for free. It’s very difficult to take the decision to downloading something you know you’re going to pay for and perhaps not that familiar with.

The decision of downloading (or not) is made even faster than on the web and it is usually irreversible. So it’s important to lower the barriers as much as possible.

Have you seen an uptake in mobile commerce applications – applications that let  consumers make purchases of goods (real life and virtual goods)?
We haven’t seen much uptake on mobile commerce yet, but there’s a lot of testing happening at the moment and I think that confidence in mobile commerce will grow step-by-step, in a similar way to how it happened on the Internet.

First we need to make sure that everyone has solid and easily accessible mobile internet access on a low flat fee.

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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