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MANAGEMENT

THE HIDDEN POWER OF MOBILE APPLICATION LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT

July 17, 2017
ALEX SLOBOZHAN
Sales manager
Did you know that your clients spend more time on the Internet using their mobiles, than using desktop computers and tablets combined? Every day people spend hours surfing the Internet through mobile browsers and interacting with mobile apps. It's time to embrace this trend and stop thinking about mobile applications in terms of quick monetization or rudimentary marketing tools. Let's take a closer look at mobile application lifecycle management (MALM) practices and how they can help you expand your business.

THE THREE WELL-KNOWN STAGES OF THE APPLICATION LIFECYCLE

The first three steps of the mobile application development will be similar whether you wish to create a game, a productivity tracker or an online fitness regimen program. In either case, you will have to go through the stages of coming up with an idea, dressing it up and showing it off for everyone to see. Here is a simplified plan for every step:

Invent

Every Fortune 500 company started with an idea. First, you think of something that could be useful to people, could solve their problems and make them a tiny bit happier. So you decide to release your idea under the guise of a mobile application. At the preliminary stage you will have to answer a long list of questions, like

  • Has anyone done anything similar before me?
  • Will my app run on Android, iOS or Windows Phone?
  • Which features should be present?
  • How many resources will I need for the development stage?
  • What kind of return on investment should I expect?
After the idea has crystallized into a solid plan and you have found yourself a dream team of professional developers, it's time to move on to the next stage.

READ ALSO: Choose a Perfect Outsourcing Software Development Company in Six Steps

Engineer

It is always exciting to watch your idea take form. When creating an app, you can steer the development process any way you want, as long as you can afford the cost. Make sure the design and interface you have in mind can be created within the timeframe you set.

At this stage, you can either take a step back and allow professionals to take care of the project for you or take an active part in the development process. This depends on the resources you possess and the engagement model you choose when hiring a software development team. Either way, you should write a clear system requirements specification for the developers to follow. This document will speed up the process and provide quantitative parameters for you to review when approving the final version of the application.

Launch

Your app is looking good, and the only thing it is missing are actual users. At this point, you need to make the application available to the target audience through any means possible: your own website, Google Play or App Store, PPC advertising or a tried-and-true word-of-mouth method. Ideally, you should attract high-value users through well thought-through strategies to increase the chance of breaking even on your investment.

Finally, your app is getting a steady stream of new users. So it's time to kick back and relax, isn't it? Only if you wish to rejoin the rat race in a few months or a year. Otherwise, discover and embrace the fourth stage of MALM and make the most of it.

THE FOURTH STEP EVERYONE KEEPS FORGETTING ABOUT

Most business owners go to extreme lengths to create their first application but are quickly disappointed by its performance after the launch. They forget about the crucial fourth step that will take their experience to the next level. To get there, you should.

Monetize, Analyze, and Repeat

Surely, you have thought about your monetization strategy at the very beginning of your application's lifecycle. You could market the premium version, sell virtual and physical products, or simply use one of the many advertisement tools. However, your monetization strategy should be flexible and ready to adjust to new data you acquire through your users' engagement within the app. This precious data will enable you to optimize user interface and experience, engagements models and monetization tools.

At this point, you should keep up with customer feedback and make necessary corrections to prevent mass user losses. Regular maintenance and update schedule will keep your users happy since many delete the app after a single crash. Application data analysis is the ultimate tool that will increase the app's lifecycle by leaps and bounds. It will help you catch any bugs and troubles your users face, as well as protect the project from catastrophic failures.

THE ENDLESS BUSINESS POSSIBILITIES OF MALM

Imagine you are selling smartphones instead of creating apps for them. Would you forget about the client the moment he or she leaves your store? Consider this: Apple doesn't leave you hanging any time you have trouble with your iPhone. They provide you with AppleCare Protection Plan to keep you happy and loyal. As a result, when the newest iPhone comes out, you will be standing in line to get your hands on it. Isn't that what you want your clients to feel when you create another app?

Here is a small list of MALM advantages to consider:

  1. You understand your clients better by analyzing data points derived from their locations, engagement times, features used, etc.
  2. You increase brand awareness and loyalty if you alter monetization strategy according to the collected data.
  3. You groom the target audience for your next project within the same or completely different niche.
  4. You continuously collect a high return on investment to finance further development of the app and your next project.
As you see, when used correctly and in the right order, the four stages of mobile application lifecycle management can drastically increase the project's profit. After the project is developed and launched, do not forget to maintain the app, monetize it and analyze user data to adapt your business strategy according to your clients' needs.
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