My App Strategy: What First?

The future is destined to be device independent, meaning it’s time for businesses to begin encompassing the power of mobile into their marketing plans going forward. As mobile now consumes 60 percent of our digital media time (with the majority of that percentage being app related), businesses on a global scale are reacting to this trend shift and are creating their very own apps in response. This couldn’t be a more exciting time to broaden your digital infrastructure given the rise in platforms that now support apps, mobile, tablet, desktop and now wearables are all offering fantastic opportunities.

However the unfortunate reality is that a great deal of apps don’t succeed because they struggle to serve their real purpose. Supposedly only one percent of apps today are deemed as “financially successful”. This is because app owners tend to rush into the production stage far too quikly without really identifying what it is that they want to portray and who exactly too. Identifying your business goals and core values, and then subsequently building your app(s) around these will allow for your app strategy to become clearer to marketing teams everywhere in their quest for prosperity.

Creating your first app may seem like a daunting process but it needn’t be. New devices and therefore a new demographic mean a brand new strategy where all bases are covered. Remaining smart but also having fun with your ideas is key to you getting this right.

Digital Inventory & Research

Before you go about planning the content of your app it’s advised that you undergo a digital inventory of your own. Take a look at your company’s current stock and gage where you are performing the best and similarly where you are under performing. Doing this will allow you to see what type of features that your users like to interact with, of which you could look to replicate through your app(s). It will also give you an indication as to whether you require one at all at this point in time.

Once you have done this do a thorough analysis on your competitors and see if they have an app, or if so what they are doing in their bid to make it popular. This will give you a useful starting point as you begin to brainstorm its content and overall purpose.

Outline Your Goals

Outlining the goals for your app is the next step. As mentioned at the start of this article a great deal of apps struggle to succeed because their intentions are disjointed. Normally it’s down to the fact that too much is trying to be achieved in one go. Try and identify one of the below aims as your key focus:

  • Brand awareness – is the app designed to purely be another way of distributing content?
  • Customer service – is the app an arm of your customer service team?
  • Client acquisition – are you looking to make sales on the app?

Think about whether your app is designed to appeal to someone straight away or further down the line. I.e., a social app’s intentions would differ entirely from a goal reaching app.

Demographics

The next step in your app strategy is identifying your users demographic, and this is where your marketing research will come into play. Don’t be afraid to seek feedback from your users; whether this be querying if and when they engage with apps and on which devices, and whether yours would be beneficial to them. Not only does this help you gain you useful insight into your users habits, but is also acts as an effective method of showing that you treasure their opinion. Try and also pre-empt the devices your users will be using in the future as this will allow you to build a solid foundation that allows you to add additional features at a later date.

Content & Construction

Taking all of the above into account it’s time to begin building your app. The content you populate should stay in align with all of the aspects established above. It’s important for everyone involved to understand that creating an app isn’t purely just about the content, but that it serves a real purpose to a dedicated audience, where the content is a reflection of your planned strategy.

When planning the content you’ll also need to think about how the changeover will affect your users. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself whether downloading your app requires more effort than its worth. If so what perks are you going to offer in the short term to make this worthwhile, and if there aren’t any short term perks then what can they expect to gain from it in the future. This of course comes back down to the type of app you’re creating along with your intentions, but careful considerations are key to achieving app success.