A great mobile application is nothing without an outstanding marketing strategy. Earlier this year I wrote at length about this topic, drawing upon the fascinating story of Angry Birds’ path to the top.  What I found during my research for that blog was not far from what I already know: having a top-selling mobile app in the current market is a struggle. Several years ago before the market swelled to over a million mobile apps, the idea of getting rich quick off of a mobile application seemed much more feasible. However, now that mobile apps are a commodity this sadly is far from the truth. It takes creativity, persistence and often a colossal marketing budget just as it does for any blockbuster product to make a mobile app soar among the ranks of Angry Birds, Draw Something or Farmville. So, the first rule in App Marketing 101 is quite simple: realign your expectations for success. If you think that your idea is so rad and unique that the characters in your app will end up on pillows and children’s t-shirts, I commend your confidence, but it’s time to realign.

Now that we got the tough love out of the way, let me express that I do believe that your mobile application can and will be successful. What will differentiate your business from the rest depends on preparation and promotion. For today, let’s place our focus on the first and most important part, preparation.

What Are Your Strengths?

Did you know that the App Store is about to hit 50 billion downloads? That’s right, billion. This is both good news and bad news: any app on the market has huge potential for reaching an enormous audience, but the competition is equally as Mobile Appsfierce. This is why you need to focus on finding your strengths and the best way to showcase them. First, what distinguishes your app to your customers? When I am helping our clients with app promotion projects, I always try to think from my own perspective when I download an app. A great example I return to in my own experience has to do with Spotify. I have had several friends and colleagues ask me why they should download it (and I happen to be a big fan and avid user) and the benefit statements I respond with are like second nature. Try to use the same perspective when you think about your own product – get out of your head for a bit and be your customer. Even better, do some user testing and surveys! Find out right from the horse’s mouth.

Strength can also lie in your existing assets. Do you have a rockstar website that you can use to drive traffic to your app? Or a strong social media presence? Obviously financial assets will help a lot, but they aren’t the only thing that matters here.

Setting Goals for Success

Goal setting can be a pretty difficult part of the planning process. It seems like a no brainer, but saying “I want to make money” or “I want a lot of downloads” just won’t cut it. Without clearly defined goals, it’s pretty hard to know if you are actually doing well and how you can improve. Doing some research into your competitors is a good place to start if you are stumped – how many Daily Active Users (DAUs) do they have? What is their app’s ranking on the App Store? This can give you a good foundation for setting similar goals of your own. When you are looking for funding, technology consulting or development, coming prepared with definitive goals gives you much more credibility in their eyes too.

Application Discovery MobileKnow Your Audience

You likely know the age group, perhaps even the gender or location of the audience that your app is targeting already. But what I think is equally important, if not more, is how your audience’s digital behavior. This includes the type of devices they use, their search patterns, the other apps that they would also be downloading, and how they would ultimately discover your app and be compelled to download it. Market research is the best way to compile this data, but if you don’t have the time or resources to do a full study, there is a ton of information up for grabs from mobile industry companies like Flurry Analytics and App Annie with telling data about user trends.

Do Competitive Research

I have already mentioned competitive research a few times in this blog, so hopefully you have already gathered the importance of this phase in the preparation process. Important data to gather on your competitors include metrics like total downloads, listing rank, and average rating, as well as brand and user experience elements like app description, user interface, information architecture, etc. This information will help you figure out what your audience is looking for and find any niches within that market that you could fill to differentiate your product.

Hopefully this very high level look at business planning and preparation for the mobile marketplace was helpful for you. The Amadeus Consulting blog has many other promotion and marketing blogs for the mobile marketplace, so you should check those out for more information and advice in this area. For help with building and promoting your mobile app,visit our website or contact us today!