Acquisition & Engagement

To get millions of app installs, start with user psychology

John Koetsier

Marketing an awesome mobile app?


The good news is that people are NOT downloading zero apps per week, as some have reported. The other good news is that there is a lot of recent, research-driven advice on how to think about approaching new user acquisition and lots of high-quality app installs.

One of the keys: start with user motivation. Here are a few details:

“Millions” of app installs, of course, is a pretty lofty goal. Very few apps are going to be the new Pokémon Go. But the reality is that there is still no marketplace on the planet that can take a business from zero to global in a few short weeks other than mobile apps via Google Play and the App Store.

For users, the biggest single drive of mobile app installs is a desire to get something done, to achieve a certain result.

why smartphone owners install apps

Getting in front of that desire — even if it’s the wish to while away a few hours of commuting every week — is critical for app publishers.

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John Koetsier

Before acting as a mobile economist for TUNE, John built the VB Insight research team at VentureBeat and managed teams creating software for partners like Intel and Disney. In addition, he led technical teams, built social sites and mobile apps, and consulted on mobile, social, and IoT. In 2014, he was named to Folio's top 100 of the media industry's "most innovative entrepreneurs and market shaker-uppers." John lives in British Columbia, Canada with his family, where he coaches baseball and hockey, though not at the same time.

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