Getting Your App to Market: 2016 In Review

For the last year, we’ve been serving up tips and tools to help you make sure your app really resonates with your audience, has a place in the market, and will be seen by the right customers at the right time. Here’s our best go-to-market advice, culled from our favorite articles from 2016.

Start with the customer. Whether you’re creating a low-fi brain teaser game or a fun new image editor or a B2B app for the enterprise, the first step on the path to app success is to know your customer. Knowing your customer is so important that we even wrote a three-part series on this topic alone.

Know the market. Imagine working months on a medieval FPS game, only to discover that another, much bigger, outfit has developed something similar and is releasing it before yours! Taking the time to research what’s on the market currently—and what isn’t—can help you avoid this unfortunate outcome, and hone your product to be competitive no matter what is already out there. You can find specific strategies and tips for market validation here.

Form a go-to-market strategy. A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is simply a plan for how you will promote your product. The fewer resources you have, the more creative you’ll need to be about your GTM plan. The good news is, there are a lot of creative—and cost-effective—ways to get your product in front of your customer. Learn more about GTM plans, and find ideas and tips for your creating yours here.

Pick a price. Free? Free with limits? Premium? Choosing a pricing model for your app depends on a lot of factors, including the platform you’re developing for (iOS* apps tend to be paid; Android* apps tend to be free with in-app purchases), your competition, and your target customers. Monetization might seem like something you think about last, but there are compelling reasons to consider your strategy early in the process. For a deeper look at how to monetize Android* apps, see this article.

Optimize your app store listing. The app store listing is your app’s public face, and often the only way potential customers will discover your app. We looked at ways use the six key areas of the Google Play Store* listing to your advantage.

Wear your developer hat and your business hat at the same time. Thinking about validating your market or coming up with a value proposition are not everyone’s cup of tea. But the earlier you start thinking about your market and your marketing, the more likely your product will delight your customers—and the easier it will be to get it into their hands. And if you’re considering entering the B2B space, this business thinking will be essential. This infographic shows how you can weave business tasks into your development process.

Consider B2B. With a saturated consumer market, we see B2B apps becoming more relevant and lucrative. While your basic go-to-market strategies will be the same (know your customer, know your customer, know your customer!), selling in a B2B app requires you to think about your customer slightly differently. In 2016, we looked at GTM strategies for small business apps and enterprise apps We’ll explore opportunities and techniques for B2B a lot more in the year ahead.

Remember to have fun! Indie game developer Torn Banner shared the secrets of the success of their medieval combat game, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. Top of the list: Make the game you want to play. Not surprisingly, Orbii Co-Founder Omar Barlas sang a similar tune, telling us that his innovative home security camera began as an idea of a product he wanted—but couldn’t find on the shelves. Read more about his company’s successful use of crowdfunding here.

We’re looking forward to supporting you in marketing and selling your apps as the landscape continues to expand and change.

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