As a start-up working on a product strategy you need to answer that question. What is the best option? Wrapping up an app and then starting the marketing communication? Or incorporate marketing into the fundaments of the process?
Times, when marketing departments have worked autonomically, are over. The old business model separated Marketing from Sales, Marketing from IT, and so on. Fortunately, we have found ourselves in a new situation, where marketers are not detached from the creation of a product. On the contrary, marketing is involved in the process from the very beginning, and we simply cannot underestimate the value of that. IT and Marketing joint forces skyrocket the value and profits of the product. It is an exciting as well as an effective configuration that works for bigger teams in medium and large companies, and it can be a useful hint for start-ups. When to start marketing communication of an app you’re working on?
Great idea for an app? Launch the marketing now!
Don’t procrastinate. Even if it’s just an idea, a vague vision of your app, and you are pretty much aware that it will take some time to ship a final product, you shouldn’t wait with marketing communication. If you are certain that your idea for an app can address the pain points of many people, or can meet their constantly evolving needs, you should definitely try to reach them as soon as possible. Kickoff your marketing together with starting the app production and development. Build a community around your product, engage the future users in a fruitful dialogue. Dive into their needs and try to find out whether the problem you discovered is, in fact, something they would like to solve with your product.
The nurtured network of users is pure gold
Yes, nurturing leads is one of the magic key-words in marketing today. The community you have warmed up before is the best source of Alpha / Beta testers you could dream of. Encourage them to try out your app as soon as it’s online – or even earlier than that.
How to establish that community? Luckily there is a toolbox that will come in handy. Use the most effective social media like Facebook and LinkedIn with their discussion groups. Meet your users by answering their questions on Quora, be active on Reddit. Enhance that with social media paid ads and e-mail campaigns. Build amazing content through articles, blog posts, newsletters, Slideshare presentations, podcasts, and live webinars. Naturally, that should all make sense, therefore at the end of every part of the marketing process, there should be a vivid Call To Action leading to a stunning landing page. That all need to happen long before launching the product itself.
What if someone else works on a similar app?
Fear of the competition may paralyze. Don’t overthink and worry what others are working on. If the idea is striking enough, there is a good possibility that someone else will come up with that sooner or later, but this thought cannot block you. It also won’t count if anyone copycats your app after the kickoff day. They will have only their product, but without your valuable network of devoted users, that you will be armed with. In the business building, you need to focus on people who will be using it, instead of on the creation itself. Without the users, your product will extinct.
Include marketing activities in the app budget
On the earliest possible stage of the product strategy, you need to assign certain part of a budget for marketing. That’s a smart move that will help you in the market validation. If you estimated the Cost Per Action (CPA) at a level of 50 Euro, and it turned out to be 10 times higher, it means you have a great opportunity to react immediately and deploy other campaigns and A/B tests. As a result, marketing of your app will be perfected when the product arrives on the market. It would be much more effective than if you started your campaign along with launching the app.
Keep up the good work
Try not to fall into a trap of mental honeymoon after a successful introducing your app to the market. Technology, algorithms and platforms are constantly evolving, and your product has to be up-to-date. Tests can be carried out by months, and years. Engage your nurtured network to evaluate new features and upgrades. Think of that as a project that has important business partners – your users. Finally, the sooner you realize that your users’ involvement is a vital part of marketing strategy, the better for the whole project.