Smartphone has certainly changed the landscape of consumerism in last few years. They have become our favorite tool for reading the news, watching television, shopping, communicating, socializing, making decisions, navigating…and what not!
As a marketer, mobile is considered a very powerful place for you to connect with your audience.
With Great Power Comes With Great Responsibility.
Since mobile is a personal medium of staying in touch with your customers, it is also the easiest place for marketers for making massive blunders which may turn off customers forever and can cause your app to die soon.
I am here to help you with some common mistakes which enterprises tend to make both from application development methodology perspective and application marketing viewpoint. You can learn from this brainstormed researched work and try avoiding such mistakes which may lead to a premature death of your application.
A. Mistakes In App Development Process
1- Choosing a wrong app development methodology
Once you are all set for building your mobile application development process you will be faced with another challenging task which is should you go for Native or Hybrid?
Developing native apps may take more and costs you more but results can be good user-experience. On the contrary developing hybrid apps are generally quicker and ensures that you get same awesome experience across all platforms. But as far as UX of hybrid apps are considered, the native apps are more fine-tune compared to the hybrid ones.
Although native apps are most of the times considered ‘better’ but they cannot be every time the right choice for your company. Henceforth, you must be well-prepared for certain investigative questions and ensure that you have a clear-cut idea of which app development methodology you will be going for. Your application development adoption method will decide other major areas of app development and marketing process.
Decide well on:
- What’s your budget?
- What’s your time-frame?
- What OS-specific features might your app need?
- What level of user experience you are planning to offer to satisfy your users?
- You must be well prepared with these answers before app development process begins.
2- Failing to focusing on adding features
Another common mistake which developers tend to make is to define what features the app will need. This is another area on which companies may run off the rails. Well, adding more features in your app always sounds like a good idea. The more your users can do with your app, the more likely the app is used, right? This is what the misconception is. Factually speaking, adding too many features can be another reason for your app to be wasted.
First, mobile users look for fast, convenient and simple experience and if your application is stuffed with twenty or more features, the chances are that it’s too complicated to be fast, convenient and simple. Another reason is, not everyone is using the latest hardware and adding more features can slow down the app on older phones and tablets hence leading to crashing down of application. Another added reason is remembering people will be looking at your app on tiny, four or five-inch screens. So, your design needs to be artistically simple and clean. The more the features, the more clumsy will your app be.
Don’t go overboard rather focus on few core functions that the app will need to satisfy the user needs. If you have those extra bucks and time, spend it on improving engagement by fine-tuning the experience of those core features instead of stuffing your application with more features.
3- Poor decision making on platform consideration
iOS, Android, Windows: Where should my app go? Looking over stats and surveys iOS may be popular in the U.S but Android reigns supreme in global front often to a larger extent than iOS. It has been seen some stereotypical thoughts hovers developers and it is seen commonly that someone will be developing iOS apps just because they believe monetization would be easier on the app store. While, they can be true up to some extent but not universal.
So if you intend to publish your mobile apps in multiple countries consider thinking every possible alternative while choosing a platform and take best possible platform decision. And failing to do so can make you lose your audience severely.
4- Skipping Testing Mobile AppStep
Unfortunately, many developers are in a rush to finish the app development phase of an app and take the shortcut method to test the app and this is really for an application. This is how they fail to find loopholes in the app which may completely ruin the mobile application in future. Quality assurance post development and application testing is among the most critical step to be followed stringently in whole app development process.
It is important to understand that testing a mobile application is not a cakewalk. This involves several rounds of iteration to test all features and functionalities, therefore, proper scrutinizing of every activity over again until the desired result is achieved.
A more balanced approach must be followed when it comes to testing UI/UX as well as the features or usability of the app. Mobile applications need monthly update. While, web browser updates every year, so it is fine if you are doing web testing in the same environment. But taking the web approach for mobile app testing can be bad for your app’s health.
5- Overlooking Performance Related Issues
So, another common practice which you must never skip in order to keep your application alive is to check your application on performance grounds. If your app has the right look and feel but don’t live up to expectations as they scale, users will be simply dumping your apps and switching to your competitor. The only way to avoid this is to go for performance testing and bring it in your development process as soon as possible.
You must strategize accordingly like define the list of performance-related activities you want to accomplish before you launch the first release to your users. You have to pay attention to the desired outcome. Define owners for each activity and make sure problems found are easily fixed.
Manage expectations. Some pages can be slow in designing. Suppose, your app user wants to search flight and users expect the process to take 10-20 seconds. But the expectation for sending a text message might be five seconds. Here comes the importance of understanding the importance of KPI’s before you start testing. Therefore, a well-performing application will have well-defined KPI and of course, user experience survey will be a critical part of this process.
B. Pitfalls In Mobile App Marketing Strategy
1- Poor Onboarding
Many of the application fail to follow this requirement. The pattern is seen that with the launch user is left straight into the core experience and leave them to their own devices. Observation also says that so many of these apps fail to engage beyond the first session. Therefore, first of all always think about the initial user experience and plan out a smart and concrete onboarding process which may encourage your users to use the application. This way you will also
avoid unnecessary confusion and frustration of users which they may face on the first use of application.
Then, create some form of funnel analysis which will help you in understanding exactly where you are losing users, and therefore take the necessary steps to remedy those issues. Conclusively, remember that great user experience relies on the user data in the form of A/B test results. Do not assume that you know the answers rather test it!
2- Lack of sure-fire marketing plan
Whenever we come across a phrase “mobile app marketing plan” a vague thought comes which is about “amazing download numbers” But those aggregate numbers doesn’t mean your app will reap huge downloads just by publishing it in the app store. Of course, your website landing page shouldn’t be an overwhelming advertisement for your mobile application but still when your customers will visit your website, they should know that there’s an optimized mobile application available as well.
Don’t make it hard to find your mobile application.
Spend some time in getting familiar with mobile application discovery paths. App stores could be a primary method but many app publishers neglect the relevance of app’s title, descriptions, and keywords.
It is also important to encourage happy customers to leave reviews. Most of the time only unhappy customers leave negative reviews while satisfied ones remain silent. The happy comments are going to help the forthcoming customers who will, of course, look to the happy reviews on the app store and you will get a boost in a number of downloads. If you fail to focus on not getting the reviews of happy customers, then you are losing thousands of potential customers.
What is expected from you is to use all communication to let your customers know about your app. Bring existing assets like your email list, Facebook page, Twitter account to your mobile app’s
marketing activities. Proactively work on app’s title, keywords, descriptions, and screenshots. Use some great tools like App Store Optimization (ASO) that will help customers to find your app in the app stores.
3. No Relationship Building
Mobile’s true power comes from its personal nature. Once your app is installed in consumer’s device, they have ‘you’ in their pocket. Silently, this is offering you a great opportunity to stay connected with your customers and engage them in a personal manner. Delight them with your acknowledgment of their worth to you as a customer.
Invest rightly in your mobile apps and then make it impossible to take the last step of connecting to the people who download the app. This two-way communication channeling within your app will make each and every consumer feel special, at scale.
The ground reality today is consumers’ expectations are skyrocketing and they are always ready with issues, questions and suggestions when using your mobile application. Leaving no room for dialogue or remarks or feedbacks makes user terribly frustrating. This can make a company look like it isn’t listening or trying to address the customer’s commentary. The more you are learning about any individual user, and then tailoring to their experience, the more value they will get from your app, and this lowers the chances that they will leave your service for another.
Crudely speaking the process is not only about having a good mobile app marketing activity itself like in-app purchases, push notifications and change in user experience and so on so forth but learning and targeting holds significant relevance.
Consider building in-app communication tools which simplify easy submission of feedback inside the app. Listen to the customers before they get frustrated enough to visit the app store to make it easy to submit feedback inside the app. If you have no time or resources to build such tools, look for services that provide in-app feedback in order to solve your problems. Do not forget this will help you grow retention, ratings, reviews, and research – the four R’s of the app business.
1- Push Notifications
Plan your push notifications carefully and let users turn them off easily if they want. Additionally make sure you keep different time zones in mind while sending a push notification.
Visually compelling screenshots and video previews helps in selling your mobile application which in turn improves your store conversion rates. Remember, app screenshots hold a lot of power since they are previewed in search results.
3- App Icon
Your app icon says a lot about your app. Dedicate time in testing out different concepts, the choice of color combinations and design treatments which will help you in finding the icon that best represents your app.
4- App Review Pitch Emailer
Your app review emailer must include these constituents like, your app’s name, price, and its USP, link to the App Store, link to the trailer for reviewers who prefer visual pitch, link to your app’s press kit.
Developing a good mobile app is all about thinking ahead and very carefully and minutely figuring out what you need, why you need and for whom you need. This should be the plan of action, before development money starts flowing.
If you can strive hard to avoid all these mistakes, then you will be actually knowing whether your needs best fit with developing a native or hybrid app and you will have a short list of all essential features which you will need to create an engaging, simple but functional mobile app.
References: landingpage.swrve.com, crispycodes.com, brighttalk.com, kissmetrics.com, blog.apps-builder.com, blog.icreon.us, techbeacon.com, utest.com, linkedin.com, moveoapps.com, entrepreneur.com, zarantech.com, 360logica.com blog