I have good news. And then I have bad news!
The good news is that the app development industry is thriving and growing at an exponential rate. In 2016, the app development market accounted for $108.5 Bn and is expected to rise to $311.2 Bn in 2023. The estimated CAGR from 2016-2023 is a whopping 26 percent.
For the bad news… well surveys and keynote speakers suggest that 99 out of 100 applications fail. Here, take a look.
- Sixty-five percent of apps are instant failures. By instant failures, we mean shut doors within one business quarter of release!
- Only a measly 0.01 percent of apps are likely to succeed.
The rest continue to hustle and thrive.
We attempted to find out the reasons behind the abnormally high failure rates. The answers were pretty straightforward. We found that the problem lay in the fundamentals. The rationale for the failures mapped from lack of user experience to marketing strategies, market research, and monetization plans.
We have already highlighted how the lack of market research is rendering your product as an instant failure. But why are we emphasizing so much on the value of market research?
Are you on the hunt for ace app specialists who can guide you and help you through the process of app research and development? Look no further. Alphalogic has been tending to its clients for years, leaving them with products that sell like hotcakes. Leave us your requirements here, and someone will get in touch with you shortly!
Achieving that Product-Market Fit
Market research leads us to find the right product-market fit. The concept of product-market fit is thrown around so lightly, taken equally casually that it baffles us sometimes.
The biggest misconception leading to app failures is that one application can cater to every personality.
And that is the number one mistake that any business can make. The reality is that the application you’re aiming to develop will not meet everybody’s standards. Product-market fit is achieving validation for two things:
- The market is big enough – it may be organized or unorganized at the point of entry.
- The product meets the standards and the unmet needs of the market.
But how do you attain product-market fit via market research?
At Alphalogic, we have been testing several market research methodologies to gain a bird’s eye perspective of the market accurately.
Following are the three insider tricks that will help you get started with the market research for your product.
Trick #1 Using Google Trends
Google is a goldmine of information and insights. While the results are not entirely accurate, they are good enough to give you a starting point or a ballpark figure.
The analysis returns a trend line for the keyword. You can also look for related keywords, extend the timelines to the previous five years, and more to create a comprehensive timeline trend of the consumer needs.
While there are several uses of Google Trends to identify the needs, the most significant advantage is understanding consumer demand and how it varies from time to time and if certain environmental factors influence it. For example, “Christmas ornaments buy online” would have a much higher search rate during early December and fade away by the end of the month. While the rationale is pretty obvious for this sudden spike, most often it is not.
Gaming accounts for 33% of all app downloads. 45% of the gaming market is via mobile apps.
Now, to target my business plan better, I added iOS and Android to look for any trends. iOS gaming apps are practically dead. Android gaming apps have some traction. Gaming apps, a general keyword, is getting the maximum traction altogether. The curve has spiked several times, and the dotted line projects that by the end of this year, the search term will hit zero searches. So that is a definite opportunity there for app developers.
At this point, you have reached an open end of possibilities to understand the market and consumer behavior in that industry. We have personally benefited mainly from our network of professionals who are key opinion leaders in the app development market.
Trick #2 Market Research Questionnaires
Market research questionnaires have most popular since the adoption of customer satisfaction came into being. Initially, small retail stores would print out a handful of them and request their customers to fill out the forms and leave them in the dropbox – sometimes, complete anonymity ensured.
In the modern age, we have seen companies using Google Forms, Survey Monkey, and more. While they are primarily used by medium and large companies to come up with new features, products and accentuate their existing assets for branding purposes, the tactic is more in sync with retaining their existing customer base than acquiring new customers. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Many small and medium-sized enterprises are now leveraging market research opportunities from the same sources. Some are even willing to outsource the task to specialists who compile their findings revolving around competitive intelligence, go-to-market strategies, and more.
Several small market research companies can assist you in finding the right questions, compile them in a format, and distribute them amongst people to get them to express their views around your potential app idea.
The surveying process contains some initial set of questions that define the buyer persona. If they do not fit the bill, you can always discard those responses. Here is a definitive guide from Hubspot that we found useful.
With respect to questionnaires, it is essential to keep the questions open-ended. It is essential to let the customers do the talking. Not only will it allow you to reap the maximum benefits from the questionnaire but also get quality first-hand insights.
And hey! That’s what we are aiming at, aren’t we?
Trick #3 Social Media
Social media is another great platform for market research. From posting questions on groups to paid ads in order to maximize the reach, social media may not hold all the answers. Still, it is a great tool to understand the dynamics and the general perceptions associated with your app idea.
From flipping through review videos to blogs, the level of insights related to unmet needs, the results have been astounding every time we have put it to work.
3.1. Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter are home to content creators and content producers. Thought leaders are continually expressing their views, and the reactions, as well as comments, are certainly something that can help you draw qualitative insights.
With a simple plugin or open-sourced (or freemium) tools, digital marketers pull all the relevant information from the platform. You can later take your time to digest, analyze and draw insights from the process.
3.2. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing can work wonders if you manage to find people with the same business ethics. It is generally used in the beauty and fashion industry, but it doesn’t have to be.
While researching for a healthcare app, we found several influencers who have persistent chronic ailments and have spoken at length about their accounts of illnesses. If you are looking forward to building a SaaS product, you can always reach out to tech vloggers who are have built their communities. They are constantly interacting with their subscriber base to understand the market better. Define a budget, your core business ethics, and it is a win-win scenario.
In exchange for a sponsorship tag and nominal charges, they are generally willing to help you.
3.3. Lesser-Known Online Forums
Lesser-know online forums are an unexplored goldmine. From marketing forums used by fellow entrepreneurs to general platforms hosted by other tech-preneurs, you can get a fair idea about the challenges and unmet needs they have found during their research.
The only problem while scouring online forums is to dig deep. We have personally had to go to hit the tenth page of Google search results to find information.
All these processes help you get a clear picture of the market. But they don’t work until you give up on the fixation around the original idea. Creating a successful product requires the concept to evolve and shape. Market research is simply the means to validate. Execution remains in your hands.
What are some market research techniques that you have personally adopted? Leave them in the comments for us below.
Dhananjay (DJ) Goel is the CTO at Alphalogic, passionate about technology, startups, game of thrones and coffee. He enjoys working on challenging problems with innovative startups.