Segmenting Your Market

with an annual income of about $30,000 to $65,000. Or you might divide them up by interests and find that you sell most of your apps to people who are avid fishermen or sports enthusiasts.

Many independent developers stop after segmenting their market once, thinking they have enough information to be able to identify and communicate with their most likely customers. However, larger, more successful app development companies will attempt to push on further to find out even more information about their customers' lifestyles, values, life stage, and other demographic and psychographic variables.

Let's define some terms that you will come across as you segment your Android app market. Obviously other segments could be mentioned as well, but these are some of the most common:

• Demographics refer to age, sex, income, education, race, marital status, size of household, geographic location, and profession. An understanding of demographics will help you define your marketing message and define a suitable marketing plan. Every app will cater to at least one of these components.

• Lifestyle refers to the collective choice of hobbies, recreational pursuits, entertainment, vacations, and other non-work time pursuits. Some apps are strictly for fun and should be positioned in the appropriate category on the Android Market. Other apps are health-related and therefore should be placed into this category on the Android Market.

• Belief and value systems include religious, political, nationalistic, and cultural beliefs and values. Some refer to theses characteristics as psychographics. These types of apps include religious topics, sermons, speeches (political and religious), and so on.

• Life stage refers to the chronological benchmarking of people's lives at different ages (pre-teens, teenagers, empty-nesters, and so on). Many games can be classified in this category, but other apps such as health and fitness apps fit this scheme as well.

The Android Market requires you to segment your market to some degree when you specify the category in which to place your app. Think very carefully about the category you select for your app. This can impact your sales dramatically if someone does a search on the Android Market by category and does not find your app where it logically should reside. Some apps and their category placement are clear cut, such as games. As a developer you know when you post your game app to the Android Market that you will select one of the Games categories in which to post it. You can specify that the game is a "Card & Casino" game, as shown in Figure 4.2. Other apps are not as simple to categorize. Perhaps you have written an app that helps someone locate a friend. The app could be placed in the Navigation category, or it could be placed in the Social Networking category. Still, someone else may have developed an app that is educational as well as entertaining. Their app could go in the Entertainment or Education category. The best category for your app is where you believe your buyers would most likely search on it.

Figure 4.2 The Games category enables you to specify some subcategories to help direct the buyer to your app.

If you are struggling to figure out to which category to post your app, ask your friends which location they would naturally search on the Android Market for such an app. Ask 15-20 people to get a good sample. A clear trend should emerge of one category over another. If you feel that your app is in the wrong category after posting, you can always change it at any time by going to the Android Market, logging in, and editing your app's profile information.

A list of Android Market categories is shown in Figure 4.3. From the Android Market store you will add your apps and select a primary category in which to place your app. Because the Games category is so large, the Android Market has multiple subcategories for this section.

Figure 4.3 Android Market allows you to add new Android apps and select a primary category for your app. Selecting the right category for your app will help you to segment your market.

How can you find out more about your potential Android app customers? The most effective means is through some level of market research. Larger companies segment their markets by conducting extensive market research projects, consisting of several rounds of exploratory research. They do customer and product data collection. Professional researchers gather the following data from users of similar products:

• Number and timing of purchases

• Reasons for purchases

• Consumers' attitudes about various product attributes

• Importance of the product to the lifestyle of the consumer

But, how can you find out more about your customers with budget and time constraints? What can an independent Android app developer do to segment his market? Read the reviews posted on the Android Market (and other Android app review sites) to gather valuable information on what customers like and don't like about your competitors' apps. Customer reviews are brutally honest with both praise and criticism. The comments will help you gain an understanding of how people perceive the app, its audience, and overall satisfaction. Obviously the average of the reviews (based on the five star rating) indicates the overall impression of the customer base. Hopefully you will have at least more positive reviews than negative reviews. A predominantly high number of positive reviews indicates strong acceptance of the app. This also means that the app is resonating with a particular market segment. There will always be a few complainers who give the app a one-star rating, but if the majority of reviews are single star then there is reason for concern. An example of an app receiving good reviews is shown in Figure 4.4. The next example, displayed in Figure 4.5, shows an app with a high number of negative reviews.

First app I've ever paid for and I couldn't be happier. Fun game with good

Great game, played it a lot, 5 stars. Multiplayeris buggy. I moved on to Uniwar.

Figure 4.4 An example of an app with generally positive reviews. Read the customer comments on apps that are similar to yours with the idea of understanding what types of customers are buying this app. This will help you segment your market and see what customers like about the app.

by Tony the 5/5/2010

Status doesn't update. Very slow response. The UI is terrible. Uninstaled

Figure 4.5 An example of an app with a poor review.

If an app is receiving mixed reviews, meaning the number of positive reviews is roughly equal to the number of negative reviews, you should read the reviews very carefully—they usually indicate that the app is hitting a part of the target market but leaving the other part unsatisfied. The reviews always indicate what feature or features are missing from the app.

The customers will indicate why the app is not doing well. Comments such as "App is not worth the money" or "App works very slowly" indicate that the app is poorly written or designed and obviously not really resonating with any market segment.

If you have multiple apps in your brand, you could have different target audiences based on the types of apps you have developed. For example, you may have developed game apps for children and teens—two markets that you would segment differently based on their needs. If you are selling a single app, you should look to target only one segment. Spillover into other segments is always a nice benefit, but you should focus on one market segment for best results.

Picking the right market segment also means that the segment has the following characteristics:

• It is measurable in quantitative terms. (How many? Who are they?) If you are developing a game app, try to figure out the potential size of your market. You can estimate your market by doing an Internet search and gathering some general statistics on its overall size. But trying to figure out your market segment size is difficult. You're better off determining who it is. For example, your game market may be young women, 13-17, who are followers of the latest movie sensation.

• It is substantia! enough to generate planned sales volume through planned marketing activities. One thing is certain: You must have a market large enough to generate sufficient sales. If you develop an app that has a market that constitutes just a few thousand, you may have a difficult time reaching them. The biggest reason is that there is no way to know how many potential buyers in that small market own an Android phone. There must be enough target buyers on a frequent-enough basis to sustain your company sales, spending, and profits from month to month.

You should also examine other important factors around targeting that could affect your app's success:

• Strength of competitors to attract your targeted buyers away from your app—How loyal are your customers? Could they be easily

0 0

Post a comment