You’ve learned everything a mobile app developer should need to know to code an app, but did you ever learn about the concept of audience?
If you answered no, quit while you’re behind.
OR READ THIS.
Knowing their audiences catapulted Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg to where they are today. Why? Their audience based knowledge allowed each of these tech giants to customize and selectively target their app-based experiences. They were able to frame their products to be exactly what their customers needed.
Audience is the secret sauce to all good design.
The process of defining an audience goes something like this.
- Define a niche.
- Identify the people in that niche.
- Look for what the people in that niche need/want.
- Fill the need/want of your target customer in an innovative way.
So, let’s go over how to identify an audience (your niche).
Mom, Look At Me Go!
If you’ve ever asked a parent to watch a new trick or shown off to your friends, you understand the basic concept of an audience. You developed a skill. You found people who appreciated that skill. And then you showed that skill to them.
With potential customers, the process is similar but it gets a little more complex.
First, you should ask your self who you’re customer is.
You can find out who you’re selling to by asking the following questions.
- Who do you think your audience is? Be specific (include age, identities, etc…).
- What environment do you think your audience lives in?
- What do you think your audience believes in?
- What do you think your audience does as a hobby/for fun.
- What makes your prospective customers different from other customer groups?
- How knowledgeable do you expect your audience to be?
For example, if your development experience focuses on coffee shop POS development then your ideal audience, or customer, will most likely:
- be in their late teens to early thirties.
- have a high school education. Some may be attending college.
- live in a city.
- believe in efficiency and ease of use when at work.
- speak to their co-workers or play with the POS for fun.
- be different from other groups because they work in a very high-stress environment.
- have in-depth knowledge of a POS system.
This information informs the way that you design your POS system to specifically match your target customer’s needs. This practice drastically increases the chances your mobile app has for success.
We’re up to speed now, but this explanation of the concept of audience is only good as an overview. Let’s look at some more ways that knowing your audience enhances the new mobile app development process.
1. Great Ideas Don’t Mean Great Sales
It’s incredible to know that you have the absolute best product out on the market right now. Unfortunately, that greatness doesn’t mean that your hard work will convert directly to dollars.
Like we mentioned above, if a mobile app developer doesn’t correctly target their customer odds are, their idea will fail.
Even with a targeted campaign, it’s incredibly hard to predict where and when an idea will gain traction.
Our favorite example of this is Flappy Bird. Flappy Bird became a best seller almost overnight. In fact, the creator became so overwhelmed that he removed the game from all app stores.
You can still probably buy old iphones with Flappy Bird installed for a significant markup.
The creator of Flappy Bird really just rode on the winds of chance. However, even though he didn’t plan out his success, it’s still important to learn from his success.
The creator of Flappy Bird made a simple, focused game. The simplicity of his creation guaranteed that anyone playing the game would be able to get some level of enjoyment from the experience.
The simplicity and focus that Flappy Bird had, made it a success.
Angry Birds, on the other hand, is a classic case of success through careful planning.
Angry Birds launched its app in tandem with several driving forces. They ran ads that increased the visibility of their product. They made deals that pre-installed a free version of the app on some devices to create engagement. Finally, they offered a chance to upgrade to a bigger, paid version if a customer wanted to.
Like Flappy Bird, Angry Birds was able to create a simple, focused game. Also like Flappy Bird, the developers created a low cost to entry which allowed the game to go viral.
These factors led to Angry Birds becoming one of the most successful paid mobile apps on any platform.
After Angry Birds’ astronomical success, the application development team began capitalizing on its popularity. To raise the visibility of the game even more, they produced several feature films designed to draw in new, younger audiences. This upped the team’s revenue potential by several orders of magnitude.
Careful planning, knowledge of their audience, and good design all had a hand in Angry Bird’s success.
2. Don’t Ever Settle For “Good Enough”
Taking more notes from Angry Birds’ mobile app development team, you should never rush a product to market.
The Angry Birds app developer made sure that their app was 100% good to go and free of bugs. They made sure they knew what their distribution channels were. Finally, they spent a lot of time considering the user experience.
We recommend focusing on the customer experience.
Take the profile of your customer that you built in the intro of this blog and think about the resources and desires that you would have if you were in their situation. Do they always have access to the internet? Do they struggle to look at a screen for extended periods of time? Do they have fine motor control?
A well-optimized app for your customer will always beat out an app with more features.
Just think about ordering at a restaurant. A beautiful menu with easy to see pictures and one to three pages is good. Any menu that deviates from that standard becomes cluttered or overwhelming.
If you figure out what your customer’s standard is, then you can make the perfect app for them.
Adopting an optimized mindset is even more important in a mobile format. Phones have the very least amount of real estate out of any device that we currently use today.
3. A Mobile App Developer Should Be Light On Their Feet
Operating in a competitive and ever-changing world comes with its own unique demands.
In fact, it’s not unusual for a developer to notice part way through the development process that they’ve been optimizing for the wrong niche. When this happens, it’s important to redo your original customer profile with the knowledge you’ve uncovered.
So, it’s important to develop in a way that allows you to iterate and change directions fast.
First, you should be working incrementally. A.K.A. don’t shoot for a final product right away.
Start by building out the basic structure of your app and think about how your customer would interact with the framework you’ve built. If this process sparks any realizations, then you need to change your final vision.
Second, you should be staying up to date on technology in the world. With the current pace of advancement, it’s not uncommon for a developer to finish after the release of a new android or apple OS’s. It’s also not uncommon to finish development after the release of new form factors – like folding phones.
Schedule a weekly look at all the goings-on in the tech world.
Third, it’s important to test at every milestone you reach. If you finish development and realize that something’s wrong, then you’ll have to backtrack through years of work in order to diagnose.
It’s much faster and more efficient to check that your work actually works every step of the way.
Fourth, you need to plan ahead to support software updates.
After your app launches, you only have a finite amount of time before your app will need more mobile app development in order to keep it functional.
4. Be Seen, See Sales
Just like the Angry Birds app developer, you need to have your marketing strategy nailed down before you take your product to market.
Have several ad campaign strategies laid out that you think will work for your audience. Are they younger? Maybe run YouTube ads. Do they love reading? Hold launch events in bookstores near their locations.
The sky is the limit when you’re planning out your strategies.
By this point, you should’ve already conducted focus groups to narrow down even more onto your target customer. Use your knowledge to it’s fullest potential and dig deep into any niche that you think has promise.
The plan you are creating should include your price, future updates, and an advertising schedule.
After you’ve launched your campaigns watch your analytics.
The data that your ads are generating is like gold.
If any campaign isn’t performing well enough to bring in a reasonable amount of sales, double down on the campaigns that are. Afterward, use the money generated by your successful campaigns to target a new facet of your niche that you haven’t been able to until now.
This stage of launching a mobile app is about taking chances, making bold moves, and innovating in smart ways. If you’re calculated and unique enough in your approach then you should begin to see sales.
Your magic formula is often created through trial and error. (You can always reach out to us as well to hedge your bets.)
5. Even When You’re Done, You’re Not Done
Think back to Angry Birds again. What did the app developers do after the initial release?
In short, they started improving it.
Angry Birds saw an influx of special editions, new characters, and new levels.
Due to their extended period of prep and beta testing, the base Angry Birds game never needed to be changed drastically. However, if the game had remained unchanged for its entire run, the Angry Birds user base would’ve grown tired of the game fast.
Looking at different styles of apps, you’re app launch might not go quite as smoothly.
If you’re launching a project management app or a calendar app, then it’s possible focus groups won’t have identified all the features you need. So instead, you need to prepare your development team to evaluate and act on every possible revision suggestion that you receive.
Then, after that, you should be following the example that Angry Birds set. Keeping introducing new content for your users to interact with, grow with, and get excited about.
Your continued development should begin to draw in new, excited customers.
Your strategy should be to constantly improve the quality of your products. Really, an app never leaves development. Use every tool at your disposal to improve the experience of your audience/customer base. Without much fail, you should begin to see the fruits of your labors.
Don’t Be The Buzz Kill
Remember, the markets that your target customers buy from are over-saturated. Even if your new app is revolutionizing the fitness industry, for example, your target consumer will likely only see a “fitness app”. You don’t want to be seen as just another app that will tell them to do thirty crunches three times and other basic fitness things.
Focus on standing out with a stellar user interface, gorgeous design elements, and targeted marketing.
Finally, top off that effort with excellent customer support. Be responsive to your customer’s feedback, and offer frequent updates to the platform. In a surprising amount of circumstances, this effort alone will help you stand out among a see of the same.
Even if you don’t have a gimmick to help you stand out, the quality of your product and the visibility of your marketing should speak for themselves.