Checklist: Key Steps for Managing an App
I am assuming that those of you reading this already have an app/apps. Well done for picking this up because it means that you are looking to find a way to maximize the ROI of mobile apps for your organization (even if it is just you!)
This checklist follows our Build, Manage and Promote apps flow and picks up where the "Building an App" checklist left off and will be followed by "Promoting an App" (we're still working on the last 1 so make sure you sign up to the newsletter so you don't miss it if you are interested.)
How to Manage Mobile Apps - Build, Manage and Promote
You can break the key steps for managing an app into 3 pieces
- Building a Mobile App
- Managing a Mobile App (Portfolio)
- Promoting a Mobile App
This Checklist is about Stage 2 “Managing a Mobile App” although this phase really starts when you have your first mobile app and continues on and on, happily ever after.
Right, you've built an app (you did that already or at least it is under way)
Managing an App Checklist
- Make sure you have copies of all app related documentation. This is important for a number of reasons.
- Brief - Reminder of all of the things that you thought about for your app(s) for possible later phases, for remebering your mobile app objectives or for using as a skeleton for your next app.
- Developer contract - It should contain the pricing, deliverables, timelines, contact numbers etc. Important if you get into “he said, she said” of if you move on.
- Text Files
- Video Files
- Image Files - for this and the items above it is important so that when you have more than 1 app you don’t have to keep opening the actual apps to see what is where.
- Licences - if you have used anyone else's material in your app e.g. images or music, you must make sure that you have the right licences for their usage
- Appstore accounts, analytics accounts and passwords.
- Sign up for publisher or developer accounts on each of the stores you are interested in distributing your app to.
- If you have an Android App you should be considering other AppStores to increase downloads e.g. Independent stores, Carrier appstores, App Directories and Affiliate networks.
- Submit your application with all the relevant files, images, text, icons that you are asked for.
- To maximise your chances of getting downloaded, make sure to optimise your apps for search on the mobile stores (ASO)
- If you have a company Enterprise Appstore don’t forget to put it on there.
- Always use the company’s name and account to publish the apps, not the developers or your personal one.
- Each app version should have its own in-app analytics so you know if people in different markets or on different devices are behaving differently. Using one analytics code reduces the quality of the data.
- You can measure pretty much anything but at a minimum make sure you are tracking the metrics that you are measuring for your KPIs.A
- You should be logging into your analytics dashboards to see how your app(s) are doing on a daily basis
- Apple Appstore Analytics
- GooglePlay Analytics
- Any of the other Appstores you have chosen to distribute your app(s) on.
- Customer reviews on the app stores. Positive and negative reviews affect your downloads and, by association, your rankings.
- In-App Analytics
- Competitive Insights - track the apps most relevant to your industry or demographic
- Find a place to put all of the materials where everyone in your team can access them in your absence (you’re pregnant, you got promoted or you’ve decided to go and live on an island)
- Create a corporate publishing account to prevent people using their personal accounts (trust me this is a real headache)
- Share competitive insights across the group
- Watch competitor’s app portfolios to keep abreast of what they’re up to
- Find a way to keep and spread the learning in-house
- Identify everyone involved in the app project for others with questions. Store their business contacts
- Business/App Owner
- Project Owner
I’ve said some of these points above but they are crucial for those looking to scale.
- Store your assets securely to protect your IP
- Protect your brand by ensuring that you have clear brand guidelines on
- Licences for any relevant materials
- Publisher accounts
- Analytics providers
- Development tools, platforms and languages
- Developer selection and qualification
- Approval process. Those needing apps are often so frustrated that their IT departments are too busy to develop their apps, so they manage the process themselves, resulting in:
- Duplication of existing applications
- Poor quality code
- Underperforming apps
- Serious negative brand impact
For companies looking to mobilise their businesses, implementing Mobile Relationship Management practices will save you time, and money, while amplifying your efforts.