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Mobile App Marketing – The Key is Strategy Before Tactics

Mobile App Marketing – The Key is Strategy Before Tactics


So you have a great app idea or one that’s ready to launch. I’m sure you’ve thought about how you might market your mobile app, but where should you start?

When it comes to mobile app marketing you often hear buzz words like app store optimization and app store search ads, but if you jump straight into these tactics you will most likely miss the mark and be disappointed.

The mistake most businesses make with their marketing is they jump into all the tactics before they really outline their strategy. What ends up happening is a haphazard marketing effort that yields little results.

A marketing strategy is the action plan you put in place to accomplish your specific objectives.

Tactics, on the other hand, are the steps you will actually take to reach your objectives.

Strategy and tactics must go hand in hand, but your strategy must come first! Ok, so how do I create a mobile app marketing strategy? I’m glad you asked.

In order to create a mobile app marketing strategy you must focus on 3 steps:

1. You must identify your ideal app user

Some users are better than others and you need to drill down on which users will be the most profitable and most loyal to your app.

In this step, you are creating buyer personas. For more detailed info check out this article on creating buyer personas. 

2. You must identify the vision for your app

Your vision is all about where you are now, where you want to go and why you are going there. To help you identify the vision for your app I’d recommend you consider these questions:
– Where is your app right now?
– Where is your app going?
– Why are you going there?
– What values will guide you?
– How are you going to get there?
– Who needs to do what?
– What will you measure?

3. Identify your core message

Your core message is what makes your app different from all the rest. It’s the message that will speak to your ideal app user and make your app the obvious choice.

Let’s put this into practice. Say we want to create a fitness tracking app for mothers.

Here’s what this might look like:

  • Ideal App User
    Our ideal app user is a mom between the ages of 30-40 with young kids who are trying to get back in shape after pregnancy. They know they need to get back in shape, but have limited time to do it and want an easy, effective solution that keeps them motivated.
  • App Vision
    Our app is in the development phase right now. We will be ready to launch within the next 6 months. We want to be the preferred fitness tracking app for mother’s because we see a void in the market that doesn’t address the needs of this niche. Simplicity and efficiency will guide us.

    We are going to reach our objectives by focusing on a niche within the fitness industry and meeting the needs of that niche like nobody else. Initially, we will use app download numbers to determine our success and shift to user engagement as a key performance indicator. 
  • App Core Message
    The easiest, most effective way to get back in shape after pregnancy!

I hope that example helps clarify how this process works.

Armed with your marketing strategy you have a very clear target market, you know exactly what you want to accomplish, and you know the messaging you will use to reach your target market.

This will allow you to choose the most appropriate tactics to promote your app and ensure those tactics are targeting the correct market.

Rather than taking a shotgun approach to your mobile app marketing and hoping you hit something, your marketing strategy will enable you to take a sniper approach so you hit your targets right on.


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Tim Fitzpatrick

Tim Fitzpatrick is the President & Founder of Rialto Mobile Marketing. At Rialto Mobile Marketing we create marketing systems to help small businesses achieve simple, sustainable growth. If you'd like to learn more about what we do check us out at