Jackson Fish Market
Posted on February 19, 2009 by hillel on Branded Software, Industry

Branded Apps, An Inevitability

A few months ago we wrote about (and were quoted in) an article in AdAge lamented the lack of support for branded apps (and widgets) from big advertisers. Here at JFM we have always believed that brand sponsors, looking for engagement, will ultimately realize that software is the single most cost-effective way to engage users online. Period.

How long will it take for advertisers to get this? I don’t know.

When will advertisers move from more entertainment based branded apps to more utility-based apps that have the potential for much greater engagement? I don’t know.

Will brands primarily try to build their own apps or opt for the leasing/sponsorship model (that we offer)? I don’t know.

Time will tell on all these questions, but I do believe that ultimately marketers will understand just how effective software can be as a tool for cost-effective engagement.

Mike Lazerow echoes these points along with some of the early data over at Venture Beat:

Over the past couple months, several prominent journalists and bloggers have declared branded social applications a colossal waste of time. But exactly why are so many people badmouthing what appears to be an innovative ad format?

The answer is simple: Branded social apps are scary to the dozens of venture-backed companies that rely on traditional banner impressions and digital display advertising. But the data speaks for itself: Branded social media applications are one of the most successful ways for brands to advertise on social networks like Facebook and MySpace.


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  • Reply

    Sunil Garg

    April 7, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Hi Hillel,

    This question is mostly rhetorical, as I buy into most of what you say, but I’ll post it here anyways, in hopes of hearing more of your opinions. :)

    I’m curious if you could comment on building or sponsoring niche standalone “branded apps” versus putting ad spend towards “earned media” (as I understand it, that generally involves buying viral advertising or sponsorships via established social networks or marketing agencies).

    It’s pretty clear that very few of many, many web applications ever reach widespread adoption. So why try to build one of your own when there are so many highly engaging advertising opportunities already out there?

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