The App User Lifecycle: The Best Framework for Mapping & Managing App Growth

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So, you have an app: now, what do you do with it?

The truth is, nobody really knows what to do with their app.

That’s because everybody is too concentrated on this idea that apps are just another brand channel, and not what they actually are: a new way of interacting with consumers by continuously creating a relevant and valuable experience.

Apps aren’t just the next step in the evolution of technology - they represent a change in consumer-brand relationships, driven by the needs, desires and expectations of users.

What does this mean for you?

That the next step in ensuring success is to use your app to facilitate great experiences throughout the user lifecycle, so that at every turn your customers are getting exactly what they need from you.

Why You Need the User Lifecycle As a Guiding Framework

We recently found that 94% of marketers think they know their users very well or are satisfied with how well they know their users. The truth is, many marketers do know their customers - from buyer personas, CRMs and web analytics, there have been enough years worth of data to discover who your audience actually is.

But that was before mobile. Now, web analytics won’t cut it in measuring your app, and even many app analytics providers don’t track enough regular, granular data to gain a true understanding of your users. Why? Because those analytics often just show a snapshot of where your users are at that moment, instead of how they interact with you over time. You’re getting only a single point of view at a singular part in their lifetime, versus understanding them throughout their lifetime as a user and as a customer.

Your goal is to create relationships with customers that are lifelong - so why would you use snapshot data as your foundation? What you need is an in-depth understanding of your users throughout the user lifecycle, so that you can acquire the right users, engage them with the best app experience, grow your relationships, and retain them as long-term customers.

Using the lifecycle, you can:

  • Uncover the data that matters to better understand your customers and create a truly valuable experience at every step of the journey.
  • Get a customer-centric view that ensures the focus is on moving every customer through the lifecycle based on their individual behaviors and actions - not group assumptions.
  • Deliver personalized messages based on users’ interests, desires, and needs that highlight what they want and drive your business forward.

It’s More Than Just Your Ticket to Growth

What makes the app user lifecycle so compelling as an organizational framework is that it isn’t just a smarter, better way for you to be approaching your mobile strategy and optimizing the user experience - it’s also an accurate reflection of what app users actually want, and is founded in their behaviors.

As marketers, we can sometimes get caught up in how we want our customers to behave, instead of modeling our practices after how they actually behave. That benefits no one, and only leads to bad marketing and a disconnect with your brand.

The app user lifecycle was built to represent how customers today use apps, and to help marketers address and improve each stage in order to create those valuable user relationships.

Essentially, you meet your users on their terms, according to the way they want to interact with your brand, and that mindset becomes a highly relevant framework for success. That’s a definite win-win.

 

What to Do Now: Discover the Four Lifecycle Stages and How You Can Excel at Each

Your next question is probably this: what can I do at each stage of the lifecycle to actually accomplish all of this?

What you need is our Quick Guide to the App User Lifecycle - in just five pages, you’ll become acquainted with the four stages and the various ways you can improve your app at each stage:

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