Before delving too deep into building a mobile app, there are some important questions you need to ask yourself and your team. Mobile is a whole new channel so it’s important that you get the basics right and that you set yourself up for success. This post is meant to help you identify the key questions you need to answer before committing to a specific mobile app project.
1) Who is your target audience?
Sounds so basic, right? Even so, making sure you get this question right from the get-go is key and more importantly, it helps you answer some critical questions later on. Narrowing down the target audience focus to age, profile and behavior are key. For example:
- User Profile: C-Suite executive looking for up-to-date information and resources on mergers and acquisitions in digital media and technology.
- Age: Early 40s to 65 years old.
- Behavior: Has little to spare time so you need to give them the right information with as little effort on their end as possible. They want info quickly and concisely and don’t want to be bothered when it’s not appropriate. They care about exclusivity, so making sure you offer them value-added info is important.
2) What devices are they using?
When you start to imagine this type of user, you also get a better idea of what types of devices they use which is important for your mobile strategy. If your users are business people (C-suite executives) there is a higher likelihood that they could be using Blackberries and certainly iPads.
The type of device distribution you have can affect your strategy. If your audience is narrowly focused on one or two devices, then deciding which platforms to support is easy. However, if your audience is widely spread across a number of mobile devices, then you may have to decide which platforms to support, whether or not you want to do a phased launch, or choose to not support some devices at all. Again, all of this will be uncovered one you know who exactly you are choosing to target.
3) What are you looking to help them achieve?
This is a big question that you need to have clearly answered. What problems and/or issues are you hoping to help you users solve. Is it staying informed on key industry issues, accessing highly sensitive information on the go ao they can make better business decisions? Maybe your audience is internal in which case they may need to have access to important resources while making a sale or being informed of company policies and information during an onboarding process.
Knowing what problem you are solving is a lot more important than trying to be different. As the old adage goes “Being better is more important than being different.” Let your mobile strategy be dictated by the problems you can solve better than anyone else rather than by trying to differentiate yourself which may end up not solving any problems at all.
4) What goals, key performance indicators are you shooting for?
When going to market with a mobile app, make sure you have an idea of what success looks like (at least in the short term). Here are a few approaches to consider:
- Are you looking to build better relationships with existing customers? If so, would knowing what information they find valuable and ensuring it gets delivered to the right people in the organization be the right metric to analyze?
- Are you looking to create new business opportunities and generate leads? If so, would creating a useful resource center be a good app idea where people can register for exclusive updates and access to valuable whitepapers? And could you use how many people registered as a metric of success as many of them would be great qualified leads?
- Are you holding an event and want to keep in touch with your attendees after the event is over? If so, would creating an app that gave people access to all the event information once the registered be helpful as it would also let you collect all your attendee info and allow you to keep them abreast after the event was over?
These are just a few ideas that you may want to consider to ensure you know what you are shooting for and that you make your application a success! If this topic is of interest, you should also consider reading “What can you measure in a mobile app?” for more info on this topic.
5) What does your future roadmap look like?
When looking out over the horizon, where do you see this project evolving? Going across new platforms, adding new features, targeting different audiences and/or use cases? Knowing these plans upfront will help you better select how you choose to develop your application so you can communicate these future needs from the get go.
Hope this tips help out! If you would like more info, please download our free Mobile Starter Guide below.