A successful mobile app strategy comprises an optimal mix of the various factors. Right from the conceptualization of the idea to marketing and monetization of the app, everything should be roughly sketched out in your mind. There are limited categories and billions of app that you would have to compete to get discovered and if lucky might earn revenues from your app too. Having an effective mobile app strategy is also important as more internet (almost 17% of world internet consumption) is accessed by mobile devices with apps at the centre of it. One of the recent announcement made by Flurry indicates that mobile apps have recently surpassed mobile websites by and had dominated the year. Seeing this, it is essential for you to plan your mobile app strategy to have a hassle free future. The entire mobile app strategy can be divided into the following phases- Ask Yourself: Do you really need an app for your business? You might need an app for your business when
- You have a brand name and recognition
- When your marketing campaigns are content based
- When your business offer frequent discounts and offers that calls for real time access
- When your business provides search related services such as hotels, bus, trains etc.
- If your business has active customer touch points through CRM.
Mobile App Development
Remember, there are various paid services from many companies such as Google to manage your business requirements for an app driven ecosystem. Understand their advantages and applicability if you still feel that your business can benefit from an indigenous mobile app then go ahead. What is the purpose of your application? Well this is again one of the most important things that you would consider as decides the course of development and the technologies that must be used to build your app. There are basically 3 methods of app development as mentioned by SalesForce.com. These are –
Native app development-
Native development tools used. Best for performance oriented apps
Hybrid app development-
HTML5 development uses web tools but since they are not wrapped with native features, most of the app stores will not let you submit a pure HTML5 app.
The chart shows that while native development gives you performance, Hybrid can give you cross platform apps for a lesser effort and development costs. Examples, native- angry birds, Instagram, most of the games racing, shooting etc. Hybrid- Financial times app, Decision to go between the three should be derived from some basic questions?
- How important fluidity and performance to your business?
- What is my development budget?
- Am i going to target all types of android devices too?
- If i am making a hybrid/web based app, is there a need to access the native tools
- What is my monetization strategy?
If you can answer these questions with clarity, then your app idea is seasoned and you will arrive at a clear app strategy. If not, it is better to consult a professional app development company to fill in the crucial gaps. Here is a prediction by Gartner that bets on the rise of hybrid apps. Check out the enterprise section.
Mobile App Monetization
There are various ways you can monetize and earn revenues from your app. Depending upon your business model, you can identify the most important customer touchpoints and provide various types of advertising or in app purchase options. According to a recent report released by app annie and IDC, in-app purchase has proved as the most effective method for monetization. Here are some of the major methods to monetize your mobile app-
– Let users download apps for a price tag
– Let users download a free app and then propose in-app purchases
– Providing banner ads within the applications, between sessions etc.
– Paid download of app followed by in-app purchase
In-app purchase, which is the most popular depends upon a lot of factors of your application. You must identify them and allow the money to flow from the respective factors. Here are some of the major factors listed for in-app purchase as cited by App Annie.
Paid apps have declined in 2013 by 29% while in-app purchase has increased by more than 200%. A sample of 1000 popular apps from App Annie index reveals that 92% of the most profitable apps features in app purchase while paid apps and paidmium stands with 4% each. paid app decline gartner Gartner predicts that by 2016 almost 93% of the total applications will be free and might feature in- app purchase. Seeing this, you need to identify the potential and segment of your application.
If you make an app that helps sound recording experts to record and manage sound clips then you might be making an industrial tool. Look for your competitors and see how your app solves the problem in an efficient manner. Fix the price afterwards. If you carefully observe the market, most of the paid apps (non-games) are extremely industry specific and belong to niche uses. In app advertising can be integrated into mobile apps without hindering the user experience. Mostly, if you have an addictive game app then you can make the user run many sessions and earn through impressions. One of the best example is flappy bird.
Making a successful app strategy is about a modest mix of arithmetic and intuition. While there are cost calculations and market intelligence on one side, intuitive understanding of your app and its USPs are also important. If you want to become an app entrepreneur make sure you have a capable team for developers to do it for you. From our experience, we can say that almost half of the app ideas that reach us do not incorporate features as the owners are not aware about the technical details or the overall picture. We have furnished and fine tuned those ideas and made them big time earners in the app stores. Strategy and the math might work out well for you but execution plays a great role in making an engaging app. While arithmetic is on the surface, execution is more of an inside thing.