The basic principle of success in any market, including the market of mobile applications – is to be easier, more convenient and faster. Business should take into account the fact that, if today it does not pay attention to the benefits of mobility, tomorrow its competitors will take advantage of these benefits. What kind of benefits they are:
- Mobile solutions form an entirely new channel of advertising for businesses
- Open up a new direction for successful business development
- Help to increase customer activity and growth of sales of goods and services
- Create a platform to promote new products and services
- Can be considered as a new independent commercial product
- Provide communication with the society
- Form the company’s image as an innovative, marching in step with the times
Before you contact a mobile app design company to place your order, understand the features of today’s mobile platforms and their audiences, along with the basics of mobile marketing, so that you know what exactly to ask the designers for.
As in any other activity, the most important thing is to determine the goals. Educated and active people are the audience of today’s smartphones. Young people are more easily dare try something new, while the older generation hardly takes innovation. Is this your audience? For what purpose do you want to go out at this audience:
- To increase brand loyalty?
- To create a convenient additional marketing tool?
- To open a new sales channel?
How many smartphone users in the region under your care? Can you count on 10% of them? And on 50%? Analyze the analytics on this issue in your area. Are you satisfied with the current audience, or do you work more on the future?
2. Examine the target audience
Think about your users. Mobile application should offer a new experience that is different from your web site or web service. If the functions you have in mind for your application, you can also conveniently run through the site and you do not care about tops of the App Store, then mobile version of the site will be more suitable for you. Yes, there will be more coverage of the audience, up to 90% of users of all platforms, but their involvement is much lower due to the nature and resolution of mobile devices. Also note that to create a mobile version of the site is much cheaper than making a universal cross-platform mobile application that will work on the basic quality smartphones. The only exception is the application in the form of graphic games.
Mobile applications market B2C looking for ways to attract and entertain a bored audience. For these people, the main thing – the emotions and new sensations, so the mobile application is designed to delight the discerning taste.
For the B2B market and its business audience will be important to get up to date and relevant information, rather than something funny. The business audience does not have time; they love and appreciate convenience in the first place, so the main effort in the development of mobile applications here should be on creating solutions that will make their lives better, faster and easier.
Audience initiate the contact if you guessed their expectations, and thus your dollars spent on advertising will be paid off.
3. Choose a platform
When you have decided on the goals and studied the audience, it is time to decide on the mobile platform. It’s recommended to choose between the iPhone and Android (forget the fancy WP8, Blackberry, Bada, and especially Symbian). If you select two platforms, you will need twice more money, twice more time, and twice more effort, but in return, you get twice as much of the potential audience and new channels of promotion.
If you do not have the resources or desire to immediately rush into the pool with your head – start with a platform which for the technical conclusions of your executive developers of mobile solutions best suited for your purposes. Often this is Android, which is less “closed” than iOS. You can do a detailed comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of both platforms, a lot of interesting articles on the subject can be found on the Internet. In addition, if you prefer a simpler version, such as a single platform where all features are available, then you can reach out to companies like GoSite and similar ones. You may be able to get the interface that you need for your business from them.
If one of your sales channels is a site, be sure to look at the statistics of visits, check whether iPhone and Android users visit your site, how many of them, where they come from, and what they do on the site. Statistics can tell you which platform to choose and what to offer to users.
4. Think about promotion
To create a good mobile application is only one third of work, you have to tell the user about app and hold their interest. Therefore, before the development think of which user’s tasks you are going to solve and how you will find users. Be sure to assign a person responsible for the promotion of mobile applications, it would be great to choose an employee dedicated only to these tasks.
He will have to at least disseminate the information with reviews of your application on sites, to tell about the application on resources relevant to your business (probably you already work with them), to monitor the installations of application, its use by users, users comments. He may need to complement and update the information in the application. And if there is a budget for advertising, he is in charge of media planning.
In the market today there are many players offering similar services. And the business has two options: to try to promote free software on their own, having filled bumps, or turn to professionals that put in the top App Store or Android Market your product. Hit the Top application automatically means a significant increase in downloads per day. Statistics might also help you choose payment options for your platforms which may vary from one platform to another. The concept of recurring payments or one-time payments for to use the software/application does build a relationship between the customer and the developer and for that, you would need to get in touch with the experts who could help you out with it.
5. Choose good mobile development contractor
In most cases, it is not recommended to develop the application within the company, it’ll cost more and the quality will be worse. It is easier to work with a contractor that specializes in the development of mobile applications. But do not treat it carelessly, take the time to search and interact with the contractor. You can see here the various ways in which you could search for a app developing company and get in touch with them.
The first step after contacting them is to write a short paper describing your business, audience and purpose of creating a mobile application, and then assemble a list of potential contractors. Driven into the search engine the words “Mobile Development” or choose from ratings of mobile developers. There are many such ratings.
The rating is made on a completely different KPI, so the relevance of the data is questionable. While on the other hand, this is the information that can help your business at the initial stage of selecting contractor.
Further it is recommend the following:
- Look through mobile apps portfolio of each contractor, take a look at the design, read user feedback. If you dislike the candidate, feel free to exclude him from the list. But also remember that often the most important projects the contractor could do under the protection of NDA, so firstly ask whether the company has NDA-projects the development experience of which might be interesting to you. A good manager will tell you the surface of such projects without violating the conditions of an NDA. You decide whether to believe the manager or not. If you are a good psychologist, you will figure it out.
- Contact with the rest, check the time and cost of developing your specific project.
- Try to talk to a manager who will work on your project, notice how is he going into the project, whether he can offer you good solutions and ideas.
- Talk to previous customers of candidates. You can get their contact information from the managers or directly contact with companies in the portfolio.
- Find out whether the development team uses coding standards and provides a good readable and self-documenting code. It is important for the continued support of the project.
- Look for a development team that is ready for long-term cooperation and support of the project, even if your project is simple and small. The fact is that sooner or later you will understand that your mobile line, your product must be developed and modernized to keep an increase of success. And who will do the job better, if not the team that originally developed your project. Otherwise, if you select a single developer, a freelancer, so that possibly save the budget, then you might need to look for a new developer to design the next version of the application. And it will be even more difficult, as any developer will tell you that working with other people’s code is more expensive or will offer all rewritten from scratch.
- Be wary of suspiciously low price, offers of free product support, free bug fixes after putting the product into operation. Your joy of low price is guaranteed to be quickly overshadowed by the same poor quality of work or refusal to perform free work. Think about it, software company makes money, in fact, by selling their experts’ labor. If these labors are given for free, the company knowingly works at a loss.
6. Evaluate the results
When you have run the mobile application and have made initial progress, be sure to evaluate whether you achieved your goals and in which amount. If you are not able to gather an audience, try a few more promotion channels and investing in advertising. Constantly monitor the users’ comments at AppStore/Google Play. You will understand, if something went wrong, and will come up with a second version of app, which will be perceived better and will allow you to walk through the old channels of promotion again.
If after three or four months, you have at least partially achieved your goals and your application is used by people – go ahead. And do not forget to experiment.