App marketplaces are filling up fast!
In fact, 7-year-old Zora Ball developed her first mobile video game using the programming language used to help her learn the concepts of algebra (Bootstrap)! So how do you go from being one-in-a-million to being a bright, shiny, stand-out-from-the-crowd app?
How do you get your app to stand out?
- Differentiate to stand out. Regardless of how unique you may think your app is from everyone else’s, something similar probably already exists. Don’t settle on being a “me-too” app. Invest your resources into your mobile app and marketing to avoid the consequences of missing out. Differentiate your content in such a way that users easily know, understand, and are able to leverage the rich market-leading capabilities of your app. Differentiate your marketing with videos, tweets, and targeted social media posts/shares; the way people consume content is changing, so keep these brief yet informative to optimize consumability. Differentiate your product by addressing a pain point/problem for users in a fresh, unique way.
- Polish your go-to-market strategy. With 2,506,180 active apps available in iTunes alone, your GTM materials and strategy need to be on point. There are 10 crucial elements to developing a successful campaign (see GTM 101 blog) to create well-rounded and differentiated marketing collateral that include: Defining your target audience, crafting a unique value proposition, leveraging the features and benefits, articulating your competitive strengths, establishing processes and expectations, developing the messaging and positioning statement, creating a variety of storytelling deliverables, launching impactful demand generation campaigns, following up on leads, and training your sales team.
- Speed to market matters. So you’ve differentiated yourself with the best new solution and created the right GTM strategy, now what? You need to get it to market quickly, beating your competition, using the right channel! Decide which channel works best for you: partner channel, consultant/vendor channel, or your own sales channel. A major factor to getting to market is your testing priorities—Do you want to offer leading-edge or bleeding-edge technology? Leading edge refers to having highly sophisticated software development, that is tried and true, and offers minimal risk. Bleeding edge, however, offers newer technologies with increased risk, less testing, and uncertain community demand. Based on your decision, you can customize the alpha and beta testing stages to accommodate; shorter, less cumbersome testing stages for bleeding-edge focus and longer, more comprehensive testing stages for leading-edge. Alpha testing is in-house quality improvement and acceptance testing performed prior to releasing the software for beta testing, performed by both quality assurance and testing teams. The alpha process proves to be extensive and long, typically lasting many times longer than the beta testing phase. Beta testing is essentially testing done by real users in a real environment, and has proven to save development costs by identifying glitches prior to the final release. From this testing the product quality is improved further, customer input is integrated, and product readiness is ensured.
- Find your sweet spot for user adoption. Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) remains the most valuable form of marketing due to creating trust in the solution and driving sales. According to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, “92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.” WOMM is known to provide great success in driving sales, but it requires proactive efforts to be mastered. Give your consumers something to talk about! Provide meaningful, high-quality testimonials, comical stories, best-in-class service … empower your consumers to create media hype about your key benefits by developing quality content to be shared! While focusing on user adoption, also pay close attention to your competition. Ensure you are offering a differentiated solution to a specific target market to minimize negative effects of competition entering the scene.
Bottom line: There is a lot of garbage out there—don’t get lost in the crowd. Simply having a good app is not enough. You need a truly great, shiny app that is differentiated from the market with a solid GTM strategy and a competitive advantage to get to market quickly.