Part 2: How to Define Your Target Audience When Building a Mobile App

Jenna Rodrigues
April 13, 2021

Building on our last post entitled Part 1: How to Define Your Target Audience When Building a Mobile App, this post will provide you with a few more strategies to help you define who your target audience is. Leveraging the strategies in both part 1 and part 2 of this series will help you to figure out which types of individuals will be the true champions of your app to help drive more people to your app through word-of-mouth marketing.

Talk to potential users and conduct focus groups.

You simply cannot develop an app in a silo and expect it to be perfectly suited towards your target audience’s needs. In order to ensure that you are building an experience that will serve as a value-add to those who intend to use your app, you must have conversations with your potential app users throughout the ideation, design, and development process. Not only will getting real potential users involved in the app development process help you to build an experience that meets your users’ real needs, but it will also help you to continue to refine and understand your target audience along the way.

In the early stages of trying to define your target audience, have a few conversations with some personal contacts whom you believe would find your app to be relevant and useful to their daily lives. If you are in the ideation phase, run the idea by them or show them some basic mockups to walk them through what problem the app is trying to solve, what the user experience would be like, and what the app would look like. See how they respond to the idea and how they believe that using the app would benefit them. If several individuals that you speak with do not respond well to the idea, consider iterating what you believe your target audience may be accordingly.

As you begin to narrow down on your potential target audience and gain an understanding of the types of characteristics that define this group, consider conducting more formal consumer testing through the use of surveys and focus groups. This should be a continuous process both prior to and following the launch of your app.

Design for your top customers.

Once you have a functional alpha or beta version of your product in peoples’ hands, get to know your audience. Use metrics to identify your most engaged and loyal users. Build a profile of traits or characteristics shared among this subset of your user base, and focus intensely on iterating your product for these users first.

While you want to design a user experience that ultimately meets the needs of all of your consumers, it is impossible to build a user journey that is equally appealing to all sub-segments of your consumer base. When designing and iterating the user experience of your mobile app, and you can go broke trying. Instead, focus on building an experience targeted towards your best, most loyal set of mobile app users rather than trying to design an experience that equally meets all of your consumers’ needs. This will help you to remain focused on solving the problem that you set out to solve rather than scattering your time and attention trying to make everyone happy. As you keep iterating, improving upon and adding to your product, you may find out that the profile of your top customer changes, and that’s okay too. Always keep tabs with user feedback, surveys, reviews, and analytics so that you can adapt along with your userbase.

If you are an app-driven company that caters to the outliers and struggles to truly define a loyal customer base, you will always be chasing peripheral users rather than building experiences that will keep your loyal consumers coming back for more. Don’t be worried about a few one-time customers becoming less engaged through designing for your top customers. Building out a user experience catered to those who want and need your service the most will allow you to remain focused on improving the experience for those users and attracting more users like them to your app.

Key Takeaways

Many developers and entrepreneurs believe that if they have a seemingly brilliant idea in their heads and they invest in building a seamless user experience, the users will flock to their app and it will be a massive success upon launch. However, this is often not the case, and will be quite distant from the reality of the situation even more so if you don’t know who you are building your app for in the first place. In order to attract and retain app users and to build brand loyalty, you need to not only be able to identify but to truly understand your target audience. You need to understand which types of individuals will really champion your app and become informal brand ambassadors, driving their friends and family members to the app through word-of-mouth marketing.

These loyal app champions are the people you need to be designing your user experience for, as opposed to the peripheral or edge case user who may tinker with your app but will not return to it on a daily or weekly basis. The earlier that you can identify the characteristics associated with this niche audience, the more personalized, useful and specific the user experience will be and the more successful you will be in getting individuals to remain loyal to your company’s mobile app.

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