Making an app today, is easy. Very easy.
There are tons of app developers/ agencies out there who can build “what exactly you say”. But what if it’s not an app that your business needs?
I am not trying to start with negativity. I have seen entrepreneurs starting with a lot of enthusiasm, build exactly the app in their mind and it doesn’t excel in the market. I have built many software products for myself that failed. Why?
The problem is the lack of user research, not understanding the market and “JUST having a product idea”.
“Everybody is looking for that single thing that unlocked an explosion of growth” but real “growth is the sum of a lot of small parts” instead, says Brian Balfour, former VP of Product at HubSpot.
So what are the key points that help you build a Growth strategy for your app?
1. Identify your User
Who is your key customer? Is it something like “15 to 30 years old male & female in San Francisco trying to learn Machine Learning & get trained online”? If not, no problem; find a niche first. Let it be. We can refine and be very specific later. Everything from app design, content to marketing depends on your users.
2. Competitor Analysis
Who is your competitor? If you don’t have a competitor, either that market doesn’t exist or its an uncovered market.
If you have competitors, try to understand what they do, how they sell, their business model, what differentiates your product from them and how you can improve and treat your target customers better.
3. Define your Pitch
Find out your app’s mission, product description, KPI’s the problem solves, Benefits, Target price, Business model and its sustainability. That’s important to set before you start building your product.
4. Decide the type of app you want
I know startups who built apps only for Android & iOS phones and failed to get installs because what they really needed was a website to show some data. (I mean, a website URL might be enough to show some data where they won’t install a mobile app and test your product. That’s true.
Research what type of app your business needs, based on user type, what features are needed in the app, (Just contact me if you need help deciding the type of app you need, I can share the best of my knowledge)
Decide your app development methodology — We have risk minimalization lean methodology where a product is developed step by step in a lean approach. Its the best if you are not sure about the app’s market and just wanna try the concept. If you have some core features to test, build an MVP with the core features and test its acceptance in the market. If you are confident about the app’s reach & acceptance, just wanted to get it in the market faster, go full fledge, produce a BRD, get it designed & made, launch the app.
And about the development methodology, you can get your app developed using either Agile or Waterfall methodology. In Waterfall development, you decide the parameters for development and start development in the form of a step by step process. While in Agile methodology, work is performed simultaneously on different sections of the app. All sections work together and support each other. The benefit of Agile over Waterfall is that the developer need not go back to a previous stage and return again thereby not repeating the entire process.
6. Decide go-to-market strategy
You need to decide on a market strategy before launching the app. Questions like What platforms to target? How to convey your USP & How to gain traction are important considerations. To make your app visible, you can leverage Ads and promotions. Using coupons and app specific offers can also help if its applicable to your business. Your market strategy is incomplete without a target and analysis. So there should be tools included on the platform for analytics and measure the app’s performance, reviews and ROI.
These are some of my thoughts from my personal experiences and knowledge from reading. Share your thoughts too!