ENTREPRENEURSHIP / SEP. 16, 2014
version 4, draft 4

How to Target Specific Audience When Building an App

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One of the main reasons why new apps fail in attracting users is because its developers forget to think about targeting their product. However, this step is necessary, and developers need to pick a specific target audience to create and refine apps that work for that particular group of users. This step may seem as one of those boring tasks that everybody wishes to avoid, but skipping it can have a serious impact on the app’s success. To help you with this seemingly complicated task, the article lists all the questions that you should answer in order identify your target group.  You will also learn why keeping your audience in mind is important when designing the app, marketing it, and deciding on its features.

Identifying the target audience

In reality, settling upon the target group is not demanding, and it can be achieved by answering the following questions:

  • What are the gender and age range of your potential users?

Answering this question is important as it will guide the layout and design of the app. For example, if your target group consists only of males, you will use different colours than if you were designing only for females. Also, not all layouts will appeal equally to the users of different age. The point is that your app must be appealing to your target group.

  • Where can you find them?
    • Social networks?
    • Communities?
    • Forums?
    • Physical spaces?

Identifying this is important as it will guide your marketing strategy. App users are most commonly present on social networks, regardless of age and gender, so you may think of reaching through them via that channel. However, you must also consider other options.

  • How can you help your target audience?

Usually, it is suggested that you should first identify what is the main concern of your target audience, and then think of how you can help them. However, when targeting the app (since you already have an idea), it may be useful to think the other way around. By determining how you can help your audience, you will understand their biggest concern, and this will help you decide who they are.

  • Can you list all type of people that could be using your app?

Possibly, many different individuals would use your app, although they may not necessarily belong to your target audience. List them all and then answer the following question.

  • Which audience members would value the app the most?

When you manage to narrow down your target group, you will learn who will be most likely to use your app. On the basis of this information you can select main features of the app, as features (and feature priority) should be based on the demands of the target audience. To help you select main features, you can ask yourself “If they had $100, how much would they assign to which feature and why?”

  • Can you list different personas that would be using your app?

Different personas simply means individuals with different personality. That is to say, although your target audience will consist of similar people, they will still be different. Try to imagine particular persons that would be using the app. Try answering these questions:

    • What are their behaviour patterns, habits, and activities?
    • Are they educated?
    • What kind of job do they have?
    • What are their motivations?
    • To which extent do you expect them to be engaged with the app?

Once you map all different kind of individuals that make up your target group, you will know how to address them individually. This will amazingly aid your marketing campaign.

As you can see, targeting your app is not a very complicated process. The idea is to first start with more broad questions (such as gender, age, location), and then move to more specific ones (such as particular personas and the way they will be using the app). Once you know your target group very well, you will be able to make better decisions while designing, building, and marketing your app. If you decide on the design and functions before you get to know your target audience, you will most likely fail, as many of your potential users will not use your product simply because you didn’t build the app with them in mind.

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