App Marketers, Here’s Why You Need a Product Manager on Your Team

Gilad Bechar
Image Credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock
Image Credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

The post was originally published on VentureBeat 

Marketers love to complain about mobile developers who fail to understand the importance of proper marketing. And yes, some developers are so infatuated with their creation that they believe it will immediately and independently become a hit. But recently I have encountered the opposite phenomenon, which is just as disturbing: mobile developers and marketers who focus on marketing without connecting the process back to the product itself.

Many in the mobile arena believe that the rule is: develop first, market last. In reality, though, both procedures are part of an ongoing process – constantly feeding off of one another. Here are three reasons to include a product manager to your app marketing team in order to bring things full circle:

1. You’re Losing It (And You Don’t Know Why)

The mobile world has already moved on from measuring app installs to seeking loyal users, however this new state of mind requires investigating where and why an app lost its audience. Media campaigns draw users in, but if those users hit a wall on their first encounter with the product, they won’t stick around for long.

Taking the somewhat discouraging churn rate data and translating it into actionable conclusions is no easy task. After identifying the specific parts of the process where the app seems to lose touch with users, the next step is diagnosing the problem that needs to be fixed: Is the app asking for too many app permissions right away, making users view it as unjustifiably intrusive? Is the pre-signup procedure unappealing? Is the push notification mechanism inefficient? There is no separation between marketing and product when answering these questions.

2. Your Product is a Marketing Tool (And You’re Not Using It)

Mobile holds many surprising marketing opportunities, very much including the ones that exist within the actual product. Some examples include encouraging social media sharing as part of the app’s flow, or finding the elusive k-factor that’ll make an app go viral and turn users into ambassadors. We’ve all downloaded an app because a friend recommended it or shared his or her experience on Facebook (ok, we get it, you’re a runner!).

Another way of turning the product into a marketing tool is to use the app’s flow to learn more about users’ experience before they get to the review section in order to achieve better ranking and avoid the single-star fiasco. Reaching out to users through a product they already use makes perfect sense, but it requires a shift in thought.

3. Tech It or Leave It

New technologies that originate from the mobile product and influence its marketing results are constantly emerging and improving. The rise in use of new methods such as deep linking, mobile search, and app indexing, has essentially made app content a key aspect of mobile marketing.

Even simpler actions such as analyzing the App Store data, drawing the right conclusions, and acting accordingly, all start with implementing the correct analytic tools. Studies show that not enough mobile marketers practice this, and those who do see far better results. The same goes for using A/B testing tools, sending personalized push notifications, or understanding the built-in restrictions of working with iOS vs. Android – they all require a combination of technical and product skills.

“Cross-platform” is a popular buzz term in the mobile arena, but it’s time for us to embrace a cross-sector approach. All signs point in one direction: We should start viewing mobile development and marketing as one cohesive, undivided unit.

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