MOBILE APPS BUSINESS – An Incredible business review That Works Well For All App Publishers
The “ Apps “ Story
Imagine a board room meeting session, business seminars, advertising agency briefing, coffee shops, or a college campus … the “Apps” is always the latest buzzword.Be it business, marketing & brand com exercises or an informal chit chat within the family or amongst the friend circle … the “apps” seem to have captured a major share in our day to day life and imagination and we cannot do without it.
With the revolution in mobile technology and advent of Smartphone across the globe, Apps” is the necessity for any business and the brand to sustain its continuous connectivity with their consumer and target market at the users/consumers convenience.
“Mobile App “ – The new sunrise industry
Globally there are approx more than 5 million apps available for the Android and Apple phone users and the number is on the rise. This has changed the dynamics of modern marketing compelling the marketing and brand com strategist to stay updated and evolve the next-gen ideas to enhance their brand share in the target market.
The Mobile Economy
By the end of the year 2019, the total no of cell phone users in the world is expected to touch a figure of 5 billion out of a total world population of 7.78 billion and that makes ” brand marketing ” truly fascinating.
Mobile app development has become a new domain in the global business both in terms of revenues and jobs created. A report released in 2017 by GSMA says that in all ( direct and indirect) there are around 29 million jobs created in the global mobile economy.
By 2022, the mobile device install would reach a whopping figure 6 billion across the world, expected annual mobile apps downloads reach 2.58 billion, the annual consumer spends in app stores reaching the US $ 157 billion, average annual consumer spend would reach $ 26 per device.
Mobile apps are developed for smartphones, personal and enterprise digital assistants which helps you to connect anytime with the brand, services, and special incentives ., the stated application offers.
This is the new media for today and times to come, thus making the “ Mobile app” not only the most happening but a great business domain.
APPS Business Review: The power of the new media
The big and mega global brands and multinational corporations are already into the game and they know the subjects in and out. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Whatsapp … we are all familiar with them and cannot do without them even for 10 minutes in a day.
They have the vision, knowledge, technology, and resources to rule the world and in fact, they are all ruling in their own domain. However, there are several SME and start-up publishers and developers are getting into the business. All you require to find a niche, target market, concept, technology, and marketing insights. But in reality, once a mobile app is made and launched, the ” survival business” starts.
My blog post is intended to impart a basic understanding to the potential start-up publishers, scholars who may be looking for a career, young developers, business researcher, and media personnel who are always seeking more information on the subject.
Without getting much into technicalities, my post is concentrated to the basics of the marketing mix ( Product, Policy, Pricing, Promotion & People ) and explain the ecosystem of the “Apps Business” more from the market perspective.
Apps: What it is all about
To make it simple to understand an app is nothing but a computer software which has been installed on your PC /tablet /Smartphone as a programme and labelled as an application and the same is shortened as the app.
The common usage between the” app” and “application” refers to the distribution model through the marketing channels like “ Appstore” (Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market ) who ensure that both the download and installation in a single action by the user.
UI designs: A key factor in mobile app development
Image Courtesy: http://psce.pw/H54H5
User Interface ( UI ) design plays a major role in the creation of any mobile app. In the process, it always considers contexts, screen, mobility, limitations, and inputs as an outline for interface designs.
The focus is always on the user and the interface has both the hardware and software component as well. Both the user input and device output always works in tandem.
The design constraints include limited attention parameter along with the form factors like the screen size and the context signal of the UI cues from the activity of the user.
The ultimate objective of any UI design to make it simple for the user to understand and interface with the app at ease.
POLICY: THE CHANEL MARKETING TO REACH THE USERS.
Image Courtesy: www.flickr.com
Apps Market Place: The Appstore
Mobile apps can be downloaded by the users ( both free and paid ones) .they are easily accessible through the device itself or a website and the app can be queued up for download when the device is on the use.
Android users can download the apps from the Google Play Store and Amazon App store. I Phones, i Pad and I Pod users can get it from the Appstore directly from their device.
Not so famous ones are “ Get.Jar”, Amazon app store, App Brain. According to the industry experts adding your app to less popular app stores results in 200% more apps downloads compared to Google Play
Desktop apps are available from sources Softpedia and File Hippo.com. Mac App Store provides the Mac OS apps and the Windows Stores provides the Windows apps.
Effective Pricing strategies in “Apps business”
Before the pricing strategy, as an app business entrepreneur, you need to have introspection in the following areas.
- What is the purpose of your app?
- What is your business objective?
- What is the proposed App Users Profile?
- What is the current market demand
- What is your investment in the app business?
- What is the annual maintenance cost?
- Analysis of competition in the given niche.
- Will your app be iOS or Android.
Once you have reviewed the above, as an app business entrepreneur, you may look at the following pricing strategies.
Offering a completely free app to the user.
The biggest advantage here that you manage to gain a good user base at the initial stage itself. But can you sustain your start-up business without revenue returns? Yes, there are ways as these kinds of completely free apps acts as an add on to an already existing product /service or a website you have. And the app diverts the traffic to your principal website and you make the business thereby nurturing the leads.
You also may keep the provision for “In-app advertisement “ to facilitate for ad revenue. You rent the space within your app to a potential advertiser, and people see those ads when they use your app but the app remains free to download.
Make a Freemium offer to the user.
With this pricing strategy, the app is free to download, but there are additional features, tiers and incentives within the app that users may decide to pay for. If packaged well, this pricing model could act as an infinite source of income for your company; but just like free apps, freemiums perform the best when your goal is to attract a good number of users.
“ Paid” Pricing model
Paid pricing strategy is the least effective but too common in the business. A user always likes to feel the depth of the water and evaluate their investment worthiness before he makes the payment for the app.
To counter this the app publisher normally extends a “ free trial run” for 7/14 days and at the end of which the user requires to swipe his card to continue using the app.
Paymium Pricing model
Here the user always pays for the app, but there are additional features that can be accessed with an additional fee. This pricing strategy works the best when the value of the app comes from its content and this is not a very common pricing strategy practised in the industry.
5. Subscription-based Pricing model
In a subscription-based pricing model, a user pay a monthly or annual fee (sometimes auto-renewing) to continue using your app.
Examples of some app categories using this strategy are newspaper, dating, and music streaming apps. This pricing model is gaining momentum in the trade.
As a publisher, you always have the discretion to choose the pricing strategy. Like any product or services in the market, app business also follow the same laws of supply and demand.
Think always from the user perspective that what is the price the market is willing to pay for your app. Wrong pricing could break that deal before the download even happens. It is really a hard call, you require to take as an app publisher. Your pricing strategy should always reflect the value of the app, meeting user expectations and achieve the business goals.
PEOPLE & PROCESS:
The masters who create the concept, design and make it click.
Mobile devices and applications are changing the way we think, communicate, do the business, and access news and information. Businesses, consumers and programmers have embraced this state of the art medium, making mobile application developer as one of the most sought after resources in the fastest growing IT career paths.
App developers write programs inside the mobile development environment using the Objective C, C++, C# or Java programming languages. An app developer selects the operating system (a.k.a. mobile platform) they will develop for, such as Android or iOS. This being followed by learning the programming languages and software development environment for that platform.
Working in-app industry is indeed a different ball game. People taking it as a career requires to have a different mindset and got to have the untiring spirits, self-motivation and out of the box thinking. The sheer market saturation in the business causes a very short shelf life for an app that means app developers always work under a lot of pressure.
People may download an app, but getting them to reopen the app day after day and week after week is the main challenge. An app developer really needs to work relentlessly to keep the users engaged and update so that they keep coming back more and more on the platform.
In the end, all efforts in this business are directed towards the completion of the software development and implementation by deadlines and making the app publisher satisfied. All round quality assurance and SOP is the part of the overall process that the software developed by the team performs as intended.
As a professional start-up App publisher, you should have the app marketing strategy at the place when you are through with research and the initial conceptualization of your ” App”.
It is important that your app has the technological superiority to achieve performance and have a user-friendly design to an interface. But these in isolation can never guarantee marketing and business success. Moreover, as a startup, you do not have the luxury to speculate with your finance in an overly competitive market.
Work simultaneously on your marketing plan at the design stage itself. Branding, captions, positioning … nothing should be left for speculation rather incorporate them with the overall plan and strategy in the planning stage.
Your maiden app will open the door to a new world of experience. Its success or failure would depend on your business and market understanding. Besides creating a good app, you require to manage your time and effort to market it effectively. Marketing of your app is as important as its design and performance.
15 smart ways to promote your maiden Smartphone app in the market.
Optimize your App to rank higher
App optimization is the first step in-app marketing to rank higher in an app store’s search result resulting in better visibility to the potential users and leads to more traffic on the app page. Presented below a few important steps to improve the optimization both for Google Play and the Apple App Store.
- Descriptive Title.
- Use Keywords professionally.
- Good App Description.
- Select Right Category.
- Focus on Icon Design.
- Invite Positive Reviews.
- Good Screenshots.
- Include App Preview Video
Great Promotion Price Offer
The next step is to work out a good promotion offer that extends price advantage including value over the competition. May include “ coupons code” for In-app purchase and downloads.
Content Management including distribution
A planned content marketing effort for App marketing may produce wonders. It is all about understanding the target market, creating focused content with distribution channels and close monitoring of what works and what does not? A bit of trial and error but a methodical fine-tuned means can help your app to taste the success. Presented below a few ideas to achieve the ends.
- Create a professional 30 sec demo video.
- Create an exclusive microsite incorporating the video.
- Blogs writing and commenting.
- PR posts in social media to build the brand.
- Create a bloggers community.
- Media relation exercise in both online and Offline media.
Social Media Management
Social media is a great platform for boosting organic and paid reach. You can do this by posting and promoting your content across your social media business page. Be sure to include powerful calls to action, whether it be downloading your app or clicking through to a landing page
- Paid advertising in social media.
- Identify social media influencers and build a relationship.
- Create groups in facebook and linked in groups.
- Respond to all reviews and comments in social media and other online platforms well in time.
Others Smart ways to promote your App
- Apply for App Awards.
- Attend all trade events & conferences.
- Get featured in major app review websites.
- Update your app on a regular basis.
App business and market opportunities are growing fast without any signs of getting saturated soon. It is always challenging for a publisher to break in and standing out and stay relevant. But that’s how the nature of any business.
Keeping up with trends, technology and meeting customer’s expectation is the topmost priority to ensure that your app gets into the top of the viewership list always.
Your maiden app will open the door to a new world of experience. Its success or failure would depend on your understanding of business and market dynamics. Marketing of your app is as important as its design and performance.
The golden keywords to succeed and sustain your revenue goals is to manage your marketing effort wisely because today’s business is all about marketing.
Note on Images Used
The images used in this post are mostly from Pixabay ( free images).
The images are used in order to make the post-reading more audience-friendly and I do not claim ownership of any images used in the post. Due image courtesy also has been extended to the borrowed images used from the other site.
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