Smartphones have become a way of life for the children, youth and old alike and a replacement for many of the older media after digitalization has made the “phone” an amalgamation of all the older media forms and more. All thanks to “application softwares” (apps as is popularly known to all of us) we have a very popular time pass and an easier and faster way of doing things so much so that in 2010 “app” was listed as “Word of the Year” by the American Dialect Society. In fact a study in the US revealed that the maximum number of ads noticed in smart phones is in apps!

Thus in this age driven by communication technology “information” has become the most precious thing whereas it has also become the most short lived thing. When the technology changes so also its information has to be updated. Thus it has become imperative that the softwares designed for consumption are revamped to keep pace in a constantly developing market. Thus increase in popularity of apps is followed with increase in competition. The problem here is not the developing of new apps but developing an app that will make your consumer come back for more and more. This “coming back” for more is contributed to the “engagement” your app provides.

Be aware of your customer: It is increasingly becoming difficult for your app to stay put in peoples’ mobile phones. Moreover mobile app marketing costs have risen 20 % since July, 2013. Therefore apart from attracting more new users it has become more important to keep the existing users engaged for your apps to become firmly ‘installed’ (pun intended) in your customer’s mobile phones. It will not stay put until and unless the app is able to keep the customer engaged. For that it is necessary to understand your customer. You can do that by keeping a tab on average usage time, average session times, user paths and device usage which will paint a picture of your customer for you which will in turn help you in making your customer’s experience better.

This is how you can hold on to your existing customers. However the app marketer also has to constantly reach out to customers to constantly remind them of your app’s existence and its updates which may be done using multiple channels like push notifications, in-app messaging and in-app news feeds.

Advertising your App: Though you have your group of loyal customers, it is always better not to abandon your efforts in getting new customers. Anyways you will always need to advertise your new products and the developments in older products. For that you can put up press releases and also use the social media channels at your disposal. You can encourage users to share content from your app which will amount to word-of-mouth publicity. You also have to make sure that your website and app work well together using cross channel technology. You can also send emails and messages to your users. Crafting landing pages for your app is another good idea to encourage users to download it immediately.

Efforts to increase ROI: After getting your customers to where you want them you can think about getting your ROI for which you have to be conversant with the money spent, revenue gained going onto develop new methods to increase your profits at a faster rate than you spend on your app. There are several ways to do so. A very effective way of ensuring ROI is to follow gaming company Zynga’s example which is to monetize apps by including micro-transactions within apps. You can offer incentives like sales or coupons accessible only to mobile users. Identify and remove bottlenecks in form of screens, wait time etc. that might cut into your ROI. To determine your ROI you will have to get into a great deal of leg-work (research) through app analytics. You can hire promotion agencies like Sosemo, Appromotor, App Optimisers to help with this big job.

So that your app enters the market and “stays” you have to go through many steps from researching on your customer, researching on your app’s performance to researching on your ROI and then going on to implement your findings. It has been predicted that Apps are here to stay but their full power has not yet been unleashed thus to pinpoint a particular way as “right” to sustain in the rat race is difficult. Thus you will have to make your way with the latest advancement in technology, communication technology, market tendencies and consumer preference innovating and experimenting all the way. Research or analytics being your key support throughout. To profit, it is imperative to engage your users, track your ROI, all the while improving your strategy without a break.