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How To Create a Mobile App Development Strategy

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Business
9 min read
Contents

Introduction

Embarking on the journey of bringing a mobile app from concept to reality is an exciting venture. You have a vision – a groundbreaking idea that could revolutionize the way people interact with their mobile devices. Your mind buzzes with potential features, design aesthetics, and the transformative impact your app could have. Yet, the bridge between a great idea and a successful mobile app is built with careful planning and strategic execution. This is where a robust mobile app development strategy becomes indispensable.

Think of it as navigating a complex maze; without a map, the path to the finish line is fraught with unforeseen challenges and setbacks. In the world of mobile app development, this ‘map’ is your strategy – a comprehensive plan that guides every phase of the development process. It’s about laying a foundation that aligns your app’s vision with practical execution steps, ensuring that every element, from design to functionality, resonates with your target audience and business goals.

In this blog post, we will delve into the essential components of a mobile app development strategy. Like a skilled commander outlining a mission plan, we’ll explore how to set clear objectives, understand your audience, leverage the right technologies, and navigate the competitive landscape. This strategy will not only streamline the development process but also enhance the chances of your app’s success in the crowded digital marketplace. Let’s embark on this journey together, transforming your visionary app idea into a tangible, impactful reality.

The Importance of a Mobile App Development Strategy

The market for mobile applications is hot right now, due to the high mobile devices usage worldwide. A look at mobile app statistics in 2024 paints a picture of an already saturated market, with over 8 million mobile apps available for download. 

Surprisingly, that’s not stopping mobile app developers. Statistics from Google’s Play Store indicate that mobile app development companies launch a record 1,476 apps daily. 

Evidently, the competition is fierce. Therefore, your mobile app must stand out from the competition, so that your target audience downloads it and you can generate income from it. How do you do that? It all goes back to your strategy. 

The mobile app development strategy you create is important for several reasons: 

  • Clear Vision and Direction: Without a plan, the chances of development teams getting stuck due to confusion and lack of a goal in the middle of the project are extremely high. A well thought out mobile app development strategy clearly outlines the steps you will follow from the beginning until you launch your app. This ensures that there isn’t stagnation in your development process, because your team knows the order of each step and the final goal, ensuring continuity.
  • Efficient Resource Allocation: Imagine waking up and going for a trip you have planned without taking into account how much you will spend. The result? You end up running out of cash and getting stranded or overspending credit. Similarly, without a plan for your mobile app’s development, your budget might spiral out of control and stall your development process. A mobile app development strategy takes care of this. It outlines the resources you’ll need in terms of development time, staff, and technology. This ensures you allocate resources effectively, which is essential for smooth development.
  • Risk Mitigation: An efficient mobile app development strategy usually includes a risk assessment, which covers possible obstacles and challenges the development team should expect. This is essential because it helps you prepare mentally and in terms of resources to deal with any challenges during the development process.

Steps to Craft a Mobile App Development Strategy

Mobile app development strategies cannot be the same across all mobile app development companies and developers, especially when it comes to custom app development. However, there are several common steps you should follow to ensure your development process flows seamlessly, even if you’re developing custom mobile apps. These include:   

Identify Your Target Audience and Market Research

When developing a mobile app, understanding your target audience and conducting thorough market research are crucial steps. Here’s a more legible breakdown of this process:

Understanding the Target Audience:

  • Determine who will use your app by identifying the problems your app aims to solve.
  • Pinpoint who is most affected by these problems and who stands to benefit from your app’s solutions.
  • Once you understand the problems and the affected group, you have effectively defined your target audience.

Developing User Personas:

  • Go beyond just identifying your audience; create detailed user personas.
  • User personas should include specific characteristics of your audience, such as their pain points, to tailor your app development strategy accordingly.

Market Research through Competitor Analysis:

  • Conduct market research to gain insights into your target audience.
  • One effective method is to analyze your competitors, especially if similar apps already exist.
  • Look at the demographics of users engaging with competitor apps, including age, gender, interests, and behaviors, to build a comprehensive user persona.

Leveraging Competitor Insights:

  • Use competitor analysis to understand the strengths and weaknesses of existing apps in the market.
  • Aim to enhance your app’s performance by addressing the gaps identified in competitor apps, thus gaining a competitive advantage.

In summary, identifying your target audience involves understanding the problems your app solves and who it benefits. Developing user personas and conducting market research, particularly through competitor analysis, are essential to create a mobile app that resonates with users and stands out in the market.

On the other hand, if you’ve done your research and there isn’t any other mobile app like the one you want to develop, you can create a user persona by leveraging the following:

  • Surveys: Gather insights directly from potential app users by asking questions regarding their preferences, pain points, and expectations regarding an app like yours.
  • Social Media Listening: You can learn a lot by monitoring discussions and trends on social media platforms regarding topics related to your app. 
  • Beta Testing: This involves approaching a section of your target audience and asking them to test out a prototype of your app to understand what they expect in your app.

Define Clear Objectives and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Mobile app development strategies must support and align with the overall business strategies for them to be successful. And since your business goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) inform your business strategies, you must first understand these. Business objectives or goals are the results your company aims to achieve in the long term. To measure these, you use KPIs such as profitability, impact, etc. 

If your company is well established, the business objectives and KPIs are most likely already defined. However, if this isn’t the case, you can either involve other stakeholders within the organization to help you define them or use the following questions:

  • What is the company’s mission and vision?
  • How does the company aspire to be perceived in the market?
  • What unique value does the company strive to provide to its customers?
  • What are the company’s financial objectives, including revenue and profitability targets?
  • How does the company measure and prioritize customer satisfaction and loyalty?

The answers to these questions can help you understand the company’s overall goals and objectives. And with that, you can align your mobile app development strategy with them. 

Select the Right Platform and Development Approach

App Store, Play Store, or both? This decision on which platform to use for your mobile app will generally come down to three major factors — target audience, market share, and revenue model. 

Ask yourself:

  • Does your target audience use Apple or Android? Or is it a tie? 
  • Which platform has a bigger dominance in your target region?
  • If your revenue model is in-app purchases, which platform has more users willing to spend? 

The development approach you choose is also important when creating a mobile app development strategy. There are three main development approaches you can choose from:

  • NativeThis approach requires mobile app developers to create apps using the platform’s or operating system’s programming language, such as Java for Play Store and Swift for the App Store.
  • Cross PlatformA cross-platform development approach allows developers to write an application’s code in various languages and frameworks and upload on both the App and Play Store. 
  • Hybrid: Here, developers use web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and wrap the code in a native container, allowing the app to run on multiple operating systems.

Emphasize a User-Centric Design

User experiences can break or make the success of your mobile application. Therefore, your mobile app development strategy should stress creating a mobile app with a user-centric design for maximum user engagement. This means you should develop a strategy that emphasizes creating a mobile app with the end mobile users in mind. 

Go back to the market research you conducted in the first step and the user persona you created from it. Examine their preferences, ages, interests etc., and create a strategy that emphasizes this. Your prototype testing and surveys can also help inform this strategy, because you’ll receive information on what exactly they want to see on the app. 

Detail Your Development Roadmap

Your mobile app development strategy should have a detailed outline of the steps you’ll follow during the development process. It should cover:

Phases

These are the different stages the development process must go through before you launch the end mobile app into the market. 

Milestones

These refer to the significant events during the development process that signal the start of another phase. 

Estimated Timelines

It’s important to set average durations for which specific tasks and phases should take to complete. This ensures that you distribute your time well enough so you don’t waste time on tasks and complete the development in a set duration.  

Leverage Flatirons Expert Mobile App Developers

Need to outsource mobile app development? At Flatirons, our mobile app developers have a track record of building and designing mobile apps that align with and help our clients achieve their business goals. 

When you hire our mobile app development agency services, we own the whole development process, from mobile strategy, prototyping, app store optimization and maintenance. This allows you to focus on other important aspects of your business. Contact us today, and let us help you develop mobile apps that stand out.

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Transform your mobile app ideas into reality with Flatirons' expert mobile development services.

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