We’re diving into a crucial aspect of creating an app: Market research!

Before you run away out of fear that this sounds waaay out, pause. Thinking about the effort, hours, and money you’re putting into building your app… don’t you want it to be worth it?

Of course you do!

There are many ways to give your idea the best shot at success, and market research is one of them. The good news is that it’s easier than it sounds, and we’re about to break that down for you.

What is market research and why does it matter?

Market research is the process of understanding the dynamic in which your potential app users will use your app, so that you can best determine how to serve them. We talked about user research in our previous blog, which is how you figure out who your users are and what their needs are. Market research goes one step further, it studies the environment in which your users operate.

Consider this:

If you’re building an app for college students to help them find cool weekend events to attend on campus, it helps to know what types of activities students enjoy on that campus (user research), but it also helps to know when the exams are, when the campus closes for summer, and what the events in the area are to begin with (market research!)

This is why market research matters!

It helps you come up with marketing strategies

When you launch your app, you’ll want to promote and market it effectively to get new users. By doing even a little bit of market research, you’ll have a more focused promotion strategy. For example, you’ll know whether it helps to promote your app on social media, or through YouTube ads.

You can find out who your competitors are

You can never go wrong by knowing what your competitors are up to, what they did right, and what you could do better, in fact, check out our blog on the subject! When thinking through your app idea, should you choose one that has NO competition over an app idea that clearly has others in the same space… the answer is it depends! Based on our experience, it’s better to build an app WITH some competition than without. Your competitors go ahead of you and help create a market, and there’s usually enough to crowd for everyone. But without competitors, you’ll have to put in the work to carve out a market.

How do you conduct market research for your app idea?

Using Search Trends to Find Your Niche

When you’re in search of an app idea, Google Trends is a great place to start! This is an easy way to figure out what people are searching for, and what does well on search engines. Here’s how you can go about it:

Google phrases that may be relevant for someone searching for your app. For example, you could try searching for phrases like “College events in South Melbourne” or “Student events in Sydney”

AIso consider searching through social media platforms and discussion boards like Quora, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Hacker News, LinkedIn, Product Hunt, etc.

Finally, use these phrases on App Store search and see which apps come up. Use their descriptions as inspiration for your keywords.

Use Empathy

The most helpful research insight will come from talking to your potential users, and understanding what their needs are. Empathy is the most valuable market research tool. Surveys, group discussions, and simply having conversations with people whose problem you’re trying to address will help you identify specific pain points, and opportunities to delight your users.

Pay Attention to the App Store

Track popularity charts on the regular, and look at the most popular free apps (this helps showcase what people are looking for) Apart from free apps, look at the paid apps that are performing well. This is especially helpful if you plan on monetizing your app.

No matter how experienced you are as an app developer, or how futuristic your idea may be, if it doesn’t relate to your users, it won’t stick. But conducting market research before building a mobile app will give you valuable insight, set you on the right track, and help you build something that will actually impact lives.