Why Most Apps Fail
Answer: Because at least half of the budget isn’t for marketing.
But I’m building this awesome product, that will surely be enough for people to be noticed by itself.
I’m gonna maybe let people know on Hackernews and product management groups about this new product that uses blockchain technology, AI and embedded systems using Apache Kafka and [insert technology buzzword of the month]!
Surely I won’t be able to handle all the thousands of users and clients.
Well, It’s been 3 months now and instead of hearing any ka-ching!, all I’m hearing are crickets. Why?
Am I the only one hearing them?
Well, that’s because your budget went 90% on endless features and 10% on marketing (even so, it was probably because your partners insisted).
You might think that you need to gather more money for that killer feature that will let your app be known everywhere.
You only need that single feature (or maybe 2 more…or was it 3 by any chance?).
Well, my seeping PTSD caused by seeing overly induced feature-stuffed apps over the years that ultimately led to nowhere, makes me wanna shout a prophylactic:
You sure don’t need any more features. Heck, you might even think of removing one or two to bring your product closer to it’s MVP-ness.
What you do need to do is focus on accurately marketing your product.
That’s why clients aren’t showing up.
Because they simply don’t know about you.
It’s not that your product is bad, or that you over stuffing the app is like trying to sell a Swiss army knife to a surgeon (But it can do this, and this, and this! Yeah, but does it have the precision of a surgical knife, the only thing I as a surgeon need? Well, no, but…it has a corkscrew and 10+ different tools!)
It’s that the people who are supposed to use your product, don’t know about its existence.
We’re assuming the fact that hopefully you did an accurate market research and build only the features you think your clients would enjoy.
We assume you did all that.
Hypothetically, you have the perfect product for your clients.
No re-positioning is needed, you know your target market and you (think) your target market wants your product.
You just have to let them know about it.
And you’re still skeptical about investing in marketing.
I know this feeling perfectly well.
As an engineer by trade, I loathed marketing.
I thought it’s the bane of our existence.
Some small part of me still thinks that.
But without marketing, nobody would know about the products we pour our love and soul into.
Trust me, I’ve fit the role of Doubting Thomas before, but not anymore.
In my humble opinion, you can get away with having great marketing, and a not so great product.
But you definitely can’t get away with poor marketing and a great product.
Sure, word of mouth can get your foot in the door of some clients, but it’s not enough.
That’s why I believe that you should budget your product’s finances in such a way that you leave at least half of it for marketing it.
Social media, press releases, ad campaigns, doesn’t matter.
Some effort is better than no effort.
You can even include marketing features inside your app, such as requesting loving users to leave a positive review.
From our experience of 9+ years of developing great products for users, where most fail is they don’t allocate any budget for a marketing strategy with clear objectives for the long run.
We get as excited as the next guy for building products that solve issues in a new and exciting way.
But if people don’t know their issues can be solved, and the product flops, then it hits us hard too.
So, to end the article on a positive note, let this takeaway simmer in your mind:
At the most, half of your budget should be spent on building the product (preferably an MVP not a Swiss army knife), and at least half of your budget should go into letting people know about your razor sharp surgical knife.
We know it’s counter-intuitive, especially for those of us coming from an engineering background, but it’s the best method for success.
Oh, that’s why our book’s largest chapter is about Marketing and Pre-marketing your app. Check it out, it’s free to download!
See you in the next one!