analytics
Think Strategically: How to Save Millions on a Mobile App
Sergey Sivkov
Lead of Analytics and Marketing Progress-Engine
Your business needs a mobile app, the sooner – the better. Why? Because your current and potential customers are already well-accustomed to that platform. In 2019 the number of user-downloaded apps around the world approached a record high of 120 billion. People are spending 15% more money on them.
This is a rapidly growing channel, which you need to master right now, before the train leaves. Some businessmen rush into the deep end, while others hesitate to approach, not knowing how to do it right. The thing everyone understands is – mobile application is an expensive and risky venture. Though, only if you do not have a strategy for monetizing it.
How to create a digital product, that will work for your business, and not against it? Let's sort it all out.
Monetization basics

Companies thirst for predictable results; analysts annually roll out new sphere-development forecasts. Digital, however, is very unstable, that's why any attempt to predict its path is just an illusion. What kind of revenue will this or that decision bring in six months? In truth, no one knows.

Classic situation: company makes an app (because that's what everyone does) not understanding why is this necessary. Think twice: have you got enough resources to do this? Digital products are generally expensive and require technical support. Even if you do it for image, monetizing your app is still a must, at least to recoup the monthly costs of its maintenance.

Let's start with some general recommendations. What does a manager, need to remember, in order to take his business to digital?

Think strategically

Relative stability can only be provided by a strong strategy, individually tailored to your business. That strategy will take all your strengths and weaknesses into account, proposing different development paths and monetization methods. Based on it, you can predict how many users you should have, and what actions you should take, to bring a desired profit.

Strategy makes things clear, enabling you to understand what costs what. You will understand how many users and actions brings the desired profit, and how to increase it. Strategy will help you prevent possible errors so as not to lose the audience.

Monetization first, code second

A mobile application can cost from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. The more requirements, the higher the amount. Forgot your monetization strategy? Say goodbye to another tidy sum, redoing the code. Planning ahead of time how your project's going to evolve and structuring your application according to it - is the right way to go.

Sometimes companies are chasing trends, creating an app just for the sake of it. Millions are spent on a product that is dead weight. In this case it must be completely reviewed from a technical and strategic point of view. Basically that means, they have to start from scratch.

Base the monetization on your business

Nobody knows your business and its strengths better than you. You do not need a carbon copy of another successful project. Choose a niche where you can compete. The best way to differentiate yourself from competitors is transferring your existing offline business to a technology product.

Strategy development steps

If you want to see a successful working product, not just a beautiful trinket – a monetization strategy is vital. Follow our analysts' detailed instructions and your resources (money/time/employees) will be safe.

Step 1. Gathering data
Understanding your sphere and collecting data are the first steps to successful strategy. At this stage you need to look in several directions at once. Pay attention to related areas, in addition to analyzing direct competitors. Analysts study market leaders, looking at their development path and the trends they set. This stage helps determine product goals.

Step 2. Strengths
This stage should be completely all about your business. What do you do well? What is your expertise? The team of analysts closely examine your state of affairs, counting only on your openness and honesty, after all, nobody knows your business better than you do.

Step 3. Search for target audience
What's the location of your customers? What channels do they use? What's their behavior like? If you need users – you need to follow them to their usual habitat and make decisions according to the target audience data.

Step 4. Monetization and promotion methods
At this stage, the team reviews and summarizes all the gathered data and begins to formulate a strategy. The results of this study should make clear which monetization and promotion methods are most suitable for your business. Analysts predict which tools will bring a higher percentage of profits and new users.

Step 5. Perspectives
A strategy is a long-term endeavor that assumes that at some point you'll need to change your business in accord with your goals. Analysts will prepare you for this and help consider future development options.

Monetization: fatal mistakes

No matter how careful you are, sometimes it's hard to notice a beam in your own eye. A bug can be found in the details or maybe it can creep in at the concept stage. What can go wrong with a monetization strategy?

You do not take market realities into account. Western users are accustomed to subscriptions and paid applications, but this does not work everywhere. Explore your market, don't live in illusions.

You measure your success in leads. Carrying out a large-scale targeting company, will get you thousands of letters, clicks and registrations in just a day, but only a few of those will become your customers. Real profit comes with understanding who your real target audience is.

You're inventing Netflix. Instead of trying to copy a successful project, that you deem interesting, and, by extension, competing with market mastodons and their billion-dollar budgets, it's better to find your own narrow niche. Do not try to make a second, third or fourth version of something that already exists, this won't work.

You do not comprehend the scale correctly. There are solutions and projects that are very likely going to paralyze your work and will not bring money. For example, a pharmaceutical company has two doctor friends, who they want to use as consultants through calls and e-mails. The management doesn't understand, that in this case, they need not two, but at least fifty doctors and a well-run call center. This idea, already, is much better Implemented by telemedicine companies. It's better to focus on transferring your offline business to digital.

3 reasons to outsource your strategy

Marketing experts from offline businesses often turn to us for a monetization strategy. They can be great in their field and even understand some of digital, but let's be honest: it is very difficult to find time for such a global project amidst the routine of daily tasks. Do not drive your employees insane, let them do their direct duties. Just outsource the strategy.

You have three reasons to do this:

It is cheap.
Product analytics costs much less, than correcting code errors, or developing an application from scratch. Paying a small amount to immediately understand if the product will work, is better, than wasting tens of thousands of dollars. Anticipating the questions – yes, it is, in fact, much cheaper, than hiring a product analyst, project manager and developer on staff.

It is quick.
Even if you have enough money to hire a small team of two or three specialists, they will not cope with the task even in a year.
Strategy development alone includes a scope of tasks requiring an impressive human resource. Postponing app launch for half a year, you risk losing all your advantages. By then most of the functions and features, that you've been developing for so long, will already be implemented by someone else.

Quality result.
As well-balanced team includes mathematicians, economists, marketers, business analysts. They will monitor your business, test out ideas and conduct qualitative and quantitative research. As a result of multilateral analytics, you'll get an individual strategy, that takes all your strengths into account.

It takes a professional team at least three weeks to analyze and formulate a strategy. Product can monetize within 8-12 months. By then you can hire a product analyst who will hone details, track metrics and introduce new mechanics, to staff. Alternatively, you can cut one zero out of a development paycheck, because you'll already have gathered a good base.

Not bad for a start in digital, right?

Want to get ahead of your competitors and create an app this year? Write us. We will develop the strategy and working personalized software!
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