- Optimal strategy for launching a product
- Budget allocation when creating a mobile application
- How we help launch a mobile product
- Possible scenarios
During the entire existence of AppCraft studio, we have been launching our own projects, and we are doing this now. From our own experience, we were convinced that the following strategy is optimal:
1. To think over the idea that has emerged, look at existing examples, paying special attention to closed mobile applications. It is very important not to forget about the systematic error of the survivor.
2. Make a list of everything that could be done in the project.
3. Then, spend just as much time throwing away everything that the product could exist without. If the main purpose of the application, that is, the solution to a specific problem of users, is achieved without a feature – it must be thrown away without hesitation.
4. Make a marketing plan, at least approximate. If you do not think it over initially, you will have to redo and add many things at the start of the advertising campaign.
5. Write a detailed Terms of Reference (TR). For a startup, it should be precisely detailed in comparison with mobile applications for already established business processes. If there, in case of questions, the answers are easily found among the established rules, and processing of entire sections is possible. Writing a TR is the creation of a product.
6. Immediately start a marketing campaign according to the previously developed plan, without waiting for the first version of the product. To gain an audience and establish close cooperation with it is a very difficult task, and this is what you do by creating a mobile product. Therefore, you need to start doing this as soon as possible.
7. Develop the first version of the product, testing it on focus groups. Go through three to four cycles of processing and refinement based on the information collected.
8. Conduct a soft launch on the formed cohorts of the intended target audience. Cut off non-working cohorts and focus on the most responsive.
There is a lot of work in the steps of mobile application development, especially in establishing a productive connection with users, and since resources are limited, they must first be correctly allocated.
Budget allocation when creating a mobile application
The majority of resources, about 60 to 70%, should go toward collecting an audience, including direct advertising, formation of groups on social networks, purchase of articles and partnerships, and many other methods.
Completely viral products grown without spending a single advertising penny are extremely rare. If this happens to your product, it’s wonderful, but it’s better to be able to shoot several times and hit the target without relying on one powerful shot in the top ten.
Of the remaining budget, 25% should be allocated to creating the MVP (Minimum Viable Product), 25% to project management, and 50% to improvements based on the results of testing cycles.
First, an MVP is created, then a few quick cycles of improvement and refinement are done on test cohorts. Then a transition is made to larger service cycles. It is important to understand that modern IT products are services. They are not written once and for all. They are constantly changing, adapting to the surrounding reality, and to the changing needs of users.
How we help launch a mobile product
First, we protect your idea by signing an NDA – a non-disclosure agreement. Each specialist on our team that works on your project has a similar signed agreement with the studio.
Yes, in the modern world, patenting is not as important as the speed of building business processes and the ability to form an audience for a product. Nevertheless, a successfully launched product represents a lot of capital, and you need to work with it very carefully. Therefore, protecting your right to your mobile application is foremost.
Next, we move forward into the next stages of development:
- We carry out market analysis and write a detailed analytical report that indicates the history of experiments in this niche, current competitors, links to research by world consulting companies, and recommendations.
- We help to formulate a marketing strategy.
- We draw up a TR with you, create a clickable prototype, and organize collection of information from the focus group.
- We develop a MVP, prepare for a soft launch, and organize the collection and processing of statistical information. In an article about launching a mobile application, we wrote about this in more detail.
- We assist in the launch, monitoring the technical condition of the product, providing support, and establishing A/B testing of key functionality.
- If necessary, we will organize communication with investors and help in negotiations on technical issues.
Developing a large number of mobile applications has formed our understanding of how each step is best accomplished – and how not to do it. Of course, each product is unique, but there are common features to the process that increase the chances of success.
Yes, the first version of the developed product may not work. In fact, as a rule, it does not work. Everything we do for the first time rarely works out well.
Therefore, the launch process does not at all assume that the following sequence is exactly what will happen:
- After the development of the TR, a clickable prototype is shown to the target audience. We ask potential users to give a rating from 0 to 10 – how likely it is that they will install such a mobile application. Almost everyone puts 7 to 9 – this is politeness – no one will actually use the product. With a rating of 10 – most likely, yes, they will use the product. Success is measured in dozens. If the responses are not enough, the product needs to be redone.
- A developed MVP is run on test cohorts. Here, statistical data is analyzed in detail, and, again, rotations of individual functions or even the entire product are possible.
- During the soft start, the process of groping for the best features continues. Some functions are amorphous and can be changed at any time, some are deleted, some are added.
- If, after many attempts, it is still not possible to achieve profitability, a more radical change in the business model would be considered: partnerships, creating a product for a specific client, barter cooperation, and other options.
It can happen that the result is not quite what was conceived, even in its essence, but, if it works and solves the problems of people and allows you to earn money, that’s great.
We will help you at every stage of this difficult journey and will gladly share our experience. Doing something big together is always very interesting and exciting.