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Discover and conquer – how to ensure the market success of a new digital product

Startup rise their businesses based on the idea of their founder, but unfortunately, it often happens that the idea will not be received by the target audience. That is why approx 70% of startups fail when launching in the market for the first time. To prevent this, people apply a technique called discovery to prove the ideation, check the market beforehand and research the target audience to suit them in the best way with the future product. 

Find in our article how we successfully performed discovery and ensured the 70% retention rate for the MVP app for our customer’s startup. 

Sports app MVP creation – case experience backgrounds

Let’s discover the experience of EVNE Developers in the creation of an app. One day we met a customer who wished to get the product bringing security enhancement to the process of taking sports together with the opportunity of finding friends all around the world with common ideas.

Being a former police officer he knew well about the situation with security concerns of sportsmen and common people who like taking sports in the evening in parks. Together with that, travelling a lot he always wanted to have the opportunity to find similar-minded people from different countries and provide them with a convenient tool to communicate and spend time the way they like – by taking sports. One of the ways to implement this was in the creation of a digital tool available for any internet user. 

Both domains influenced the final app functional scope and appearance

The ideation of MVP creation appeared. As far as most startup products fail their first steps, is in the absence of market need due to weak evaluation of the environment and target audience the solution should work for. The team had to bear this in mind as the intended product had to cover two unconnected domains – Sports and Dating, which influenced both the appearance and logic of the product. Making the incorrect proportion in the architecture or the UX could ruin it and lead to complete failure. 

That is why the specialised discovery took place to discover the strong and weak points of both markets, the pains and intentions of both audiences to create the stable formula of a robust solution covering the primary goal of the customer. 

The performed discovery covered such points as the market environment evaluation, competitors analysis, and target audience discovery with field research. In addition, the team offered their vision based on the analysis of the future roadmap of the solution and vivid ways of further development which can ensure a strong MVP presence. 

Market digitalisation discovery

To outline the points of the market which can influence the success of the app, the team outlined both, driving and restricting factors for both domains. The finding of the trending techniques can help to provide the most requested functions for a wide audience that can drive traffic for a long time.

Aside from the discovery of the digital market, the team aimed to discover the pull of the possible and existing app users, who can be interested in the offered services. Such an evaluation can assure that the app will be requested by users from a long-term perspective.

Based on the analysis of the Sports domain the team discovered the growing demand for outdoor sports in the target market. Amongst the most popular outdoor activities are hiking, camping, biking, fishing and running & jogging. More than 50 million people participated in hiking and more than 60 million people participated in running, jogging and trail running in 2019. In 2019, 59.1 percent of Gen Z (2000+) respondents stated that they participated in outdoor activities, making them the generation with the highest participation which could ensure the stable income of new users for years to the developed application. 

20% of the US population is engaged in sports activities, which continues to gradually grow, except the last yearly decrease

The Complex market evaluation would be impossible without competitors’ evaluation and outlining their strong and weak points. Even while having a unique idea, the product should cover the basic functions, which other competitors may possess, or at least not be worse than others presented in the market. More than 20 companies from both domains were evaluated in terms of market share, number of users, average points given by users and others. In addition, we could find the positioning of each company in the market as they personally describe it.

Such evaluation showed the team not only how the app should appear in the MVP version, but also outlined several ways of further roadmap development, depending on the accents the customer wishes their app to develop further. Roadmap creation is important for a development team, possible investors and users to understand the way the application is going to expand. It brings certainty and allows for planning possible funding and return of investment into the development.

Customer journey and customer experience planning

The next step of the discovery was in the evaluation of the existing Customer Journey Maps among the competitors, finding their weak spots, and define the basic architecture of the MVP to avoid all that drawbacks. Strong and complex User Experience is based on the ideal composition of all components of the user journey on the way to the product and inside it. That is why the team divided the report into three parts – acquisition, sales and support for more precise results and a clear vision.

With the help of the reports, we outlined the main acquisition channels, basic keywords the companies use for their promotion and other points, that helped to outline the budget the customer required for their own promotion and distribution. As for the sales, we defined the ways the competitors monetise their apps – subscription, freemiums, digital items sales and others. The customer only had to select one for themselves to suit their own business. A similar evaluation was made for the support services of the outlined companies.

The share of the support channels offered by evaluated competitors in the Sports domain

The team moved to target audience discovery to fit the application to their requirements. The Jobs to be Done framework was used to visualise the result of the research and divide them into functional groups. They were used for roadmap creation as well.

Three target personnel were developed for an MVP which defined the future communication strategy and distribution channels which will be used for the app promotion. In addition, the findings on the audience age were used to form the specific communication patterns which were used both within and outside the app in texts, call to action and store description.

Value proposition creation

Together with several other priorities the team outlined the Sports as the basis domain for the MVP with the creation of user personas and UX based on this market requirements. 

Being specific on safety requirements, the customer required special functions ensuring it for everyone taking sports with the app. After performing the analysis of the existing solutions, the team selected the function of “emergency call” to the predefined recipients with geo data of the person and a short message. Such a solution could ensure the message could be sent even without the internet connection and provide a fast response in case of any emergencies. Based on the performed A/B testing, most of the users outlined that the offered solution helped them feel safer during their training.

To get our own niche and reach the audience, we need to introduce several features, available with all analysed Sports apps. The team performed the complementary analysis by defining the main Value Proposition – Jobs, Pains, and Gains we needed to deliver to users with our app.

Among them: Statistics on training, goals (personal and general), training plan, and challenges (personal and general). Statistics is considered as one that is easy to implement, though will impact the app performance (retention rate growth). At least that should include statistics on time spent, and route length passed. Deeper statistics on heart rate and steps made require at least the integration of smartwatches which can be added later due to technical complications. They all deal with some kind of gamification and social interaction. In case we select further development as a “Secure training app for finding friends”, such functions will empower the customer’s idea. 

Example of Jobs to be Done for the Dating Domain

This domain has numerous directions for further development – tracking, video training and database, building community, personal development, and health monitoring. That offers more options and better agility in terms of business risks. That all formed the roadmap for our solution development in the future and proved the strong ground for it. 

Growth directions

Based on the evaluation, the team created the marketing pipeline, media plan and roadmap for app development. While considering the best market practices, the team also checked for the customer’s possibilities, which is why they recommended the use of free or partially free channels for distribution with manual management – SMM, Blog, YouTube, SEO, Directories, ASO, which is depicted in CJM, Marketing plan and Media plan while the app is in the MVP phase and is tested for ideations. Most of the traffic is expected from organic, which requires a strong website with a blog. 

Such a conclusion moved the team to the next step of development – the creation of the promotional website for empowering most of the steps of the customer’s journey. They could easily find the app not only in the stores but also while browsing the web, the support system via FAQs, online chat and blog posts becomes stronger together with the ability to learn more about the unique app features even before using it. All of that brought a strong user experience and early adopters’ appreciation which is shown by achieving key indicators defined by the customer.

When developing an MVP, it is very important to prove your ideas and check the market to avoid failure. That can be easily done with the discovery development phase performed by the experienced development team with the full-cycle dev process. And luckily we are one of them – we can run the complex discovery evaluation of your product to ensure its future success for a moderate price. Contact us to submit your details and get a rough estimation. 

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