When it comes to creating digital products and platforms, a typical behavior we often witness in both companies and startups is to focus most of the team resources on the “big moment”, i.e. the release of their mobile app on the stores - paying little or no attention to the activities needed after this critical milestone.
I define this approach as “launch and pray” and, despite this leads inevitably to a massive waste of money and time, it is way more common as one might think. Let’s not forget a basic principle of the digital innovation: the most successful digital products are not the ones that have the most functionalities once on the market, but rather the one that evolves faster than the others.
The creation of a mobile application is a long and complex process and it is therefore understandable that a team without a solid experience will invest most of its energy towards shipping the best product possible on the market. Focusing so much on the first release leaves few resources for the post-launch mobile app activities, which are of paramount importance in every digital project, and too often undervalued.
Here at Pushapp we have a robust experience in helping startups and enterprises in defining and implementing successful launch and post-launch strategies. Clients often assume that a product close to its final release - being the results of hard work and numerous reasonings - doesn’t require further improvements or changes. As a consequence, they tend to rush investing a substantial piece of their marketing capital into new users acquisition.
My first strategy advice for a company ready to release its first version of their product would be: do not invest heavily on acquiring new users at first, only spend what is necessary to have a concrete idea about how your product is perceived. It doesn’t matter if a startup or a corporation developed the app, nor the amount of human and economic capital invested, the first time a mobile app “meets” the market, it will never be in its final state. It is not therefore efficient to invest the resources needed for acquiring large audiences - that will inevitably end up having a mediocre experience with your app.
My second recommendation would be to define a clear post-launch product growth strategy since the very early project phases. This strategy should be based on the first feedbacks of your users as well as the gathered analytical data, or as we like to say in Pushapp "Direct experience over endless talking. Data-trends over personal opinions. Continuous improvement over delayed perfection. We fully embrace digital, let’s iterate."
Here are some of the questions that every startupper or company should consider before launching their digital product:
- Which parameters define the performance of my app and how they will be measured?
- Once the app is on the market, what can be done to gain a competitive advantage?
- How can we face the process of product improvement and the release of new product features?
- How will the maintenance and malfunctioning of the app be managed?
It would also be beneficial to have these few steps implemented before the day of the launch comes:
- List the short and long-term goals for your product
- Create an action plan for the first 3 to 6 months after the launch
- Define a budget for technical deliveries and marketing campaigns needed at the launch of the product
- Create a roadmap for features that were not required in the first version of your application
Not sure where to start?
Tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial journey and in which stage of it you are, and we can recommend you the best resources to follow.