When are Promotional Strategies Important for Apps?
When should you promote your app? The answer to this question is not easy and varies greatly. There is however, a simple answer to this question that is the same across all industries. You should promote your app when your app has correctly answered your target market’s need and has validated its underlying assumptions.
While having an “amazing” app is great, if you have not validated that your app is actually solving problems that your target customers have is it really “amazing”? Imagine trying to promote a water park before you have installed your water pipes? People go to water parks for a variety of different reasons, but the underlying assumption behind water parks and the people who visit them is the water.
What is your app’s underlying assumption? Find that out immediately and test it yesterday. Once that assumption has been validated and you are servicing the needs that your target market has explicitly told you then you are ready for a promotional strategy.
How do you test your app’s underlying assumptions and understand the explicit needs of your target market? Through beta testing…quickly. According to Eric Reis in his book, The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business:
Once entrepreneurs embrace validated learning, the development process can shrink substantially. When you focus on figuring the right thing to build-the thing customers want and will pay for-you need not spend months waiting for a product beta launch to change the company’s direction. Instead, entrepreneurs can adapt their plans incrementally, inch by inch, minute by minute.
Thus, a promotional strategy is much like putting the cart before the horse. Focus first on the customer and understanding their wants and needs, the promotional strategy is second.
If you have tested your underlying assumptions and validated that your app is solving your potential customer’s needs you are now ready for a promotional strategy and understanding how to create the right marketing mix for your specific industry will be essential.