There are no applications for everyone, and the main reason is all people are different, and all have different tastes and needs. And even knowing this fact, you can not always determine accurately who will use your application. However, you can identify the characteristics of the largest group of users and try to make the application for them.
What the target audience affects
To choose the target audience of your application more carefully, you should understand what this audience influences. Of course, in addition to the common cases listed below, there are many particular cases which depend on your application and its purposes. But first, you should pay attention to the general parameters.
Pricing and cost
Determining the price of the application itself or prices for potential in-app purchases are one of the most important nuances. This will determine the further payback of your application, after all. The target audience – the majority of the people who will use your application — have paying capacity criteria, including both this paying capacity in general, and the propensity to make purchases in applications in particular. For example, applications for children are unlikely to be suitable for in-app purchases, but perhaps parents will buy this app if it will be useful – say, educational.
Read also: Top App Monetization Strategies
What color do most of your audience like? Are they brutal motorcycle lovers or a white roses breeding club? Are your audience from Asia and likes bright interfaces with an abundance of elements, or they are from the West and prefer minimalism? All these questions concern design, and it is not worth it to build the design paying no regard for the tastes of your target audience. The solution of issues of interaction design also belongs here. Applications for children differ from applications for businessmen — not only by designation but also by how they interact with these applications. Some details and features will work better in different cases, and it’s worth checking on the real representatives of the target audience.
Sometimes the target audience for marketing campaigns is different from the target audience that will use the application. For example, in the case of the same applications for children, you need to create your advertising for parents. Or in a case of applications for organizing the workflow for professionals, most likely, managers will study the market of such applications.
Read also: How to Market Your Mobile App
First important questions
Even before the development and even before the detailed elaboration of your idea, it is worthwhile to ask yourself a few important questions. These questions will help you start the definition of your target audience.
Does your audience need this application?
In today’s world, a lot of people use mobile devices. According to Mobile Fact Sheet from Pew Research Center, 95% of US residents own smartphones. However, it may happen that your idea is concerned with the remaining 5%, and then creating an application is not the best solution. You must study the environment, habits, and especially the attitude towards mobile devices and applications of your target audience carefully.
What devices does your audience use?
If you will develop applications even for two popular platforms only — iOS and Android — it will double the cost of development. So it is worthwhile to determine which devices your target audience prefers in advance. Perhaps this will generally be Windows Phone. You can do this either with the help of surveys or by studying statistics.
Does your audience use applications in general?
This question follows the previous one. Even if users from your target audience are using mobile devices, you should consider: not all mobile devices owners use applications. Careful analysis of your target audience’s preferences will help to avoid unnecessary waste and erroneous decisions.
How to define app’s target audience
So, how can you pinpoint your mobile app target audience as accurately as possible? The simplest solutions already mentioned above are to conduct surveys and polls and analyze similar applications and applications-competitors. Surveys and polls can be custom and posted on specialized sites with a theme similar to your idea, as well as “on air” — during thematic events or in places that, according to your assumptions, are attended by representatives of your audience. This can be done both on your own, and with the help of agencies and special companies.
What characteristics may need to be determined:
• Gender: one of the main characteristics, which in the modern world, besides, can be a highly contentious issue. You should provide a maximum of options that will not hurt the feelings of your respondents.
• Age: users distribution by age is a popular method. However, there are different types of such division depending on the purposes. For example, at a certain age you can both study and work, so if you are interested in the employed part of users exactly, adjust the age limits accordingly.
• Geography: another frequently used metric. In different regions, there are different preferences often — especially when it comes to the differences between the West and the East. Also, it may be important to take into account certain cultural characteristics of a particular country.
• Marital status and family composition: this characteristic can determine both the interests of the user and work together with others to determine, for example, paying capacity.
• Occupation and income: the place of study or work and position can also determine the potential interests of the user and their willingness to pay for services.
• Preferred devices: an important parameter for determining the conditions for further development.
• Cases of using the application: you can concretize your idea here, determine the motivation of the target audience, their goals, the answer to the question “Why would you use such an application?”
• Application usage time: this refers both to the time that users are willing to spend and spend on mobile applications, and the time of day or the days of the week with the greatest activity. For example, users can read news feeds before work, during breaks, and after work.
• Paying capacity: this parameter can be found in both polls and surveys (For what and how much are you willing to pay in applications?), and studying statistics in other applications. Although the first indicator is more user-oriented, the second indicator is more representative.
• Emotional portrait: this parameter is also called psychographic and it concerns such concepts as the personality of the respondents, their values, inclinations, behavior, lifestyle, and so on. This will help to create so called user persona template — generalized portrait of the representative of your target audience.
These are basic, but not the only questions. If your application is designed to solve certain problems, you need to study them in detail, and also do not forget about related areas.
In addition, you may need to determine what your mobile app user personas have in common. You can find out the most unexpected things you will be able to use in your application development and support. And further analysis of your target audience will help determine the necessary or unnecessary features of your application and the vector of its development.
Data about your target audience will be useful not only at the stage of creating an idea. Ideally, both analysts and QA engineers should look at them, as well as UI and UX designers and marketers. Choose the parameters and define your target audience carefully. This will provide more accurate results and in the future will help not only meet the expectations of your users and ensure the success but also avoid unnecessary financial waste. And remember: your audience always means more than just an idea, no matter how brilliant and innovative it may be!