MarTech Series: Building a Business in your Consumer’s Pocket
Think about your average morning for a moment — what do you do, eat, read or think about? No matter your different responsibilities or tasks throughout a day, chances are that by 9 am, you have already used three or more mobile apps to enhance your morning routine. Apps are integrated seamlessly into most people’s day — from the moment we wake up to the moment our head hits the pillow at night — we see timelines, newsfeeds and emails full of content, nearly all of which comes by way of mobile applications.
The app economy is growing at a rapid pace and presents a billion-dollar business opportunity. The process of taking a simple idea and building it into a sustainable business can be clouded by the challenges mobile app developers face — now more than ever. A decade ago, apps were still gaining traction, but now in full force, there are 2.1 million apps in the Apple App Store and 3.3 million apps available in Google Play Store. This deluge of apps means the market has become intensely saturated with content. As it continues to grow more complex at a breakneck pace, Lifetime Value (LTV) is a mission-critical metric for survival.
But more than just chasing relevance, survival is understanding how to develop an app that will thrive as a sustainable business. It’s not a secret formula or ‘growth hacking’ that creates success — a focused strategy capable of retaining and re-engaging users is what can make or break a mobile app startup.
Mobile applications are the most direct communication channel for the consumer in the history of technology. In fact, worldwide revenue from app stores is expected to top $110 billion this year. On an average, people use about nine apps every day, and 30 per month on a global scale.
This means your message, product or service is in your audience’s pocket at nearly every moment of the day. The mobile marketer’s challenge is to get to know their ideal customer and cater to their individual needs. When done correctly, apps are designed to enhance and simplify the lives of consumers. Any form of advertisement or push notification that comes their way then becomes a well-timed reminder or suggestion rather than an intrusion. Personalization is key in this digital world — no mobile user wants to receive repetitive, uninteresting ads. With a highly intuitive and tailored platform, users are far more likely to engage and re-engage with the mobile application.
Follow the Data
A report revealed that 52 percent of customers are extremely or somewhat likely to switch to different brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communications with them. In order to make an application profitable, marketers have to make their current and potential customers happy — it’s as simple as that. The first step toward insightful personalization is gathering and understanding consumer data. Creating this database will give mobile marketers a foundation from which the insight can be pulled.
Blend digital and real-life data to create a big picture view of your users. It’s important to understand the user at every phase of the customer journey — from awareness to purchasing and post-sale engagement. Moving from app development to production and promotion with a clear vision of what kinds of people the app serves, how many downloads occur, how much time users spend engaging with ads and user retention rates will lend a supportive spine to the rest of the marketing body.
Data can be used to tailor applications directly to consumers, and it can also be the means of bringing about noteworthy innovation. Data can be used to develop effective segmentation and targeting strategies for deliberate innovation. Our modern world is no place to shy away from innovation.
Even the coolest creatives won’t appeal to everyone in your customer base, but that’s no reason to be stagnant as a brand. Choosing the right creative for the right audience is an ongoing task that requires the discipline to test and the courage to innovate.
Mobile apps open business opportunities around the world that were never open before. Mobile technology itself crossed a considerable hurdle imposed by international communications, but applications especially have the ability to connect with people everywhere and deliver messages directly at the most opportune moments in their day.
Apps are savvy technological doorways to a global audience. Just in the past few decades alone, technology has exploded into one enormous communication channel through which we can interact with people in every corner of the world. Take advantage of the enabling power of mobile applications and their ability to connect us to ideal users anywhere.
Building an application into a successful business is not about a secret sauce, it’s about fostering an intentional, strategic pathway paved with data, personalization, innovation and greater audience reach. It’s these keys that allow mobile marketers to successfully navigate their way to a strong presence in the marketplace.