No matter what market segment you’re in, chances are your competitors have either built an app, or they’re actively planning one. In order to stay competitive, it’s important to reach consumers with your message, engage them on a personal level, and keep them coming back. Apps provide all of that and more. You can probably think of several ways you can use app technology to build customer relationships, but where do you start? Here are 6 steps you must take before you build your app.
01. Download and use competitor apps
When the phrase “There’s an app for that” became popular, no one knew just how prophetic it truly was. It seems like there is an app for literally everything imaginable. You might have a completely original idea, but chances are there’s already something close. Make sure that you’re substantially differentiating your app by downloading and using apps that will directly compete with yours.
02. Engage with real users
After you identify the target user groups for your app, form focus groups of real users so you can get their feedback on your design and ideas.. Ask them to identify their wants, needs, and pain points. Your app aims to solve a problem for your users; find out how your focus groups would solve those problems for themselves. Your users aren’t going to know exactly what they want until they see something, so give them specific, concrete examples from your proposed design. Involving your users will give you the feedback you need, and it will get people excited and talking about your upcoming app.
03. Identify all your key stakeholders
Identify stakeholders from executive management to design to development to test (including real, live users who have agreed to help out in acceptance testing). When you start sending out meeting invites, you want to limit involvement to only those who need to be involved. Make sure that anyone included in a discussion is either a stakeholder or a decision-maker. This will increase the productivity of your meetings and greatly reduce confusion through each phase of the project.
04. Determine your timeline and budget
It might seem strange to define your timeline and your budget before you have a set of requirements – but app development has changed the face of software design. It’s important to fully understand your resource pool before you decide what to include in your minimum viable product (MVP) release. Knowing when you need to launch and how much you’re willing to spend will help when deciding whether those wishlist features need to be included, or whether they can sit on the back burner until you get some live feedback.
05. Read our 6 Steps to Your Best App whitepaper
Long-term project success usually stems from efficient project initiation. Our whitepaper, 6 Steps to Your Best App, will give you actionable tips to help with our pre-design project planning. When you come to the table prepared with a clear vision, user personas, and a basic marketing plan, your agency can spend their time – and your money – figuring out the technical details. The more of a springboard you create, the faster you will launch your project.
06. Partner with a killer agency
When choosing an agency, choose the one that best fills your gaps. If you have a strong project concept, but lack the development team to pull it off, then you need a good technical agency. If your company is strong on business smarts, but lean on artistic talent, you’ll need a creative team. And if your marketers speak the language of your business, but aren’t sure how to market apps, you’ll need an agency who can put your message in all the right places. Partnering with a single agency that covers multiple facets of app design, development, and marketing can help keep your project consistent and on track.
Have you done all your pre-development work for your app, and now you need a killer product development team to make it come to life? Call Gate6!