Before you code a Mobile App: Market Research please

I get this question all the time…. should I code this app? or do you think this is a good app idea? you think this is the right app for X market.

And My answer is usually the same:

I have no bloody idea.

And the challenge with this question is that identifying target markets for a sustainable online business, app, software, ecommerce, you name it…it’s not easy

To build a solid foundation for your App business, you must first identify your potential customers and tailor your marketing pitch accordingly.

In this stage of the app economy competition is tough and discoverability it’s a challenge.

That is why having a well-defined target market is crucial than ever. Targeting everyone is not a good idea as it’s going to cost you a lot. Small app businesses can effectively compete with large companies by targeting a specific target or niche market.

Businesses have different approaches: some target anyone interested in their services. Some target small-business owners or stay-at-home users. Both of these target markets are too general.

Market Research is the KEY!

I’d be lying if I say that marketing research is easy. There are lots of factors to consider, that is why I can’t imagine why a lot of marketers skip this step, because for the mere fact that it is time-consuming. For me, it’s what separates the amateur marketers from pros.

The truth is, you’ll get to understand more about your business, once you learned how to tap your target market, analyze it, deconstruct, and create for it, it’s difficult not to create a Google Play app that “sticks.”

In identifying your specific market, you don’t need to exclude people who don’t fit your criteria. Your approach should be like this: your marketing efforts should allow you to focus your brand message on a specific target market that is more likely to download your app or buy from you than other markets. It is a much more efficient, effective, and affordable way to reach potential users and generate income.

With a clearly defined target market, it would be a lot easier for you to determine where and how to market your app or business.

Here are some tips to help you define or find a target audience.

Look At Your Current Customer Base

Ask yourself. Who are my current customers? Why do they want or like my app? Look for the common interests and determine who bring in the most business?

2. Check Your Competition.

Who are your competitors? Who are their customers? Upon identifying, don’t go after the same niche or market. Look for a niche market that your competitors have overlooked.

3. Analyze your app/product/service.

Enlist each feature of your app, product or service.

Next to each feature, write down the benefits it provides. Let’s say you have developed an online radio app. It works as advertised, easy to use, and comes with a friendly user interface. It will attract more users because it works like a charm and easy to use. So ultimately, the benefit of having all the features mentioned above is gaining more users, downloads, and earning more money.

Once you have all the features or benefits listed, make a list of users who have a need that your benefit fulfills.

For example, you could choose to target businesses interested in increasing their client base. While it is too general, you already have a starting point.

4. Start with Basic Demographics

Determine who needs your app, product, or service and who are most likely to buy it. Think about the following factors:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Income ?
  • Education
  • Occupation

When deconstructing your target market, you should focus on a small core that will allow you to see what’s more important to them.

With this in mind, you can now develop an app based on how people are going to use it.Try not to exclude anyone, but rather keep your mind focused on the people who will make the most impact. Trust that “everyone else” will soon follow once you have made an impression on your core market.

Example:

Let’s say I have a B2B app on Google Play for computer programmers (I know a bit weird, but let’s plain the game)

Let’s categorize the two core market attributes:

  • Occupation (Core Marker)
  • Location (Secondary Marker)

Now with the B2B app, you might think “Location” would not make sense as a secondary marker, but in reality, there are certain parts of the country where it being a computer programmer or any profession for that matter is a big thing.

To determine these locations, you may use CityTownInfo.com as it can tell you the best and worst places in the country for any given occupation, and the most popular industries for it.

As a market researcher, you would want to understand where these locations are because the salary information will give you an indication of the local and business culture for that programmer.

If programmers in particular locations are paid more, most likely, the employers will listen to all the programmers’ opinions regarding purchasing decisions. (example: computer programmers in Phoenix are probably taken more seriously than programmers in Dothan)

Since you have an idea which areas have the highest salary, you can plug this information into Followerwonk, to know the “local language” of people within that industry.

Next step is to create a Twitter List and look for patterns in websites, these programmers are sharing , local events they are attending, popular hot spots, and anything else that you find useful. This information will give you some indication of where you should represent your app.

Consider the psychographics of your target.

Interestingly enough, by monitoring your target market’s interests, you’ll also gain insights into things like their:

  • Attitudes
  • Personality
  • Values
  • Lifestyles
  • Interests/hobbies
  • Behavior

Determine how your app will fit into your audience’s lifestyle.

How and when will they will be able to use your app?

What features are most appealing to them?

What media does your audience turn to for more information?

Does your target audience use social media to get info, search online, read newspapers, or attend particular events?

Evaluate your decision.

Once you’ve finally decided, try to consider these questions:

  • Is the number of people that fit your criteria enough?
  • Will they really benefit from my app, product, or service?
  • Will they see a need for it?
  • What should I do to drive my target to make decisions?
  • Can they afford my app or service?
  • Can I reach out to them with my message?
  • Are they easily accessible?

Do not just break down your target too far.

Bear in mind, that you can have more than one target market. Consider this, if your marketing message is different for each niche. If you can reach both niches, why not? You just need to find that perfect balance.

Conclusion

I know doing the market research before you create an app, or before you start your own business will make you stronger, well-informed, and better equipped to serve your target market the best way possible…

…Which just about guarantees your online success.

Any thoughts? Any more ideas? Please let me know in the comments below.

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