This sponsored post is produced by Personagraph.

Even among high-quality apps, it’s hardly unusual for developers today to acquire few users,  or conversely, have plenty of users but not enough revenue or see their users go dormant.

The mobile app ecosystem today is extremely competitive and the success rate for apps is dismally low. Gartner predicts that by 2018 less than 0.01% of apps will be considered a financial success by their developers.  Studies also show that a huge number of apps are zombies and of the apps that are actually being downloaded, about 20% are either used just once or deleted altogether. For app developers, this not only means low app user retention rates but also plummeting app revenues.

What is the real challenge for app developers today?

An app developer focuses all of his energy on developing an app. A lot of blood, sweat and tears go into building an app, from the ideation phase to the final app launch.  As soon as an app is launched, app developers are anxious to find out how their app is doing in the app stores. No question, there’s a plethora of analytics tools in the market today that help developers track various metrics. A typical analytics tool will provide information such as number of downloads, number of registered users, devices used, and session length. While this information IS important, it does not tell the app developer WHY the app is doing well or why it is failing.

Developers are getting data on HOW people are using their app but not WHO is using it – and that’s an important distinction.

By focusing only on the first, app developers get caught up in tracking downloads and then measure the success of their app based on that data alone. In reality, solely tracking downloads isn’t enough anymore. While data provided to app developers by various analytics companies helps track the momentum of an app, it does not show the big picture.

Ask yourself if your analytics tool helps you answer the following:

  • What are my users’ interests?
  • What are their most frequently visited locations?
  • How engaged are they with my app?
  • What competing apps do they use?
  • How much time do they spend on other apps?
  • What are their demographics?
  • What are the interests of my high-value users?

Chances are, you won’t have answers to these questions. Clearly, there is a gap here. True user understanding could be the difference between a successful app and a failed one.

Why is user understanding so important?

Understanding your users – who they really are and what they’re really like – is crucial to the success of an app. By having access to your users’ demographics, interests and competitor app usage, you can dramatically alter the way you approach in-app messaging, ad targeting and user acquisition. App developers should also know how users are behaving inside their app and how their interests and out-of-app behavior affect their in-app activity. Imagine what you could do if you had access to rich data about your users. It might help you tailor your app content, push appropriate messages at the right time, in the right context and serve highly-targeted ads.

Till now, access to rich user information was only available to the Amazons and Googles of the world. Big corporations have the technical and financial infrastructure to profile their users and target them accordingly. App developers have not been privy to rich user profiles that could help them better engage, acquire and monetize.

What’s the solution?

There are a handful of companies who provide some level of user profiling. In choosing a provider, you want to ensure you’ll be able to get the right kind of data you’re looking for at the right price point.

Personagraph is one option which has created a sophisticated user understanding platform. It’s built using advanced machine learning algorithms and data science techniques. Once integrated with your app, the Personagraph SDK starts collecting data from various sources such as apps, location, social media, and clicks. All this data is then run through the inference engine and a unique, robust user profile is created including info on demographics, interests, what competitive apps are used, how often they’re used, and the users’ most visited locations.

The mobile ecosystem is a crowded, complicated and competitive space. Mobile ad targeting is still in a nascent phase and there is a pressing need for an end-to-end service that addresses the most pressing challenges of the mobile ecosystem and is accessible to big corporations and small developers alike.

Irfan Mohammed is a co-founder of Personagraph, a user insights platform for mobile apps. Personagraph tells app makers who their users are, what they do outside the app, and how they interact with other apps. Visit us to find out more about what we do.


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