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Part One: How Kids’ App Makers Use Data to Build Business Strategy

A few months ago we began strategizing with Moms With Apps, a community of Kids’ App developers. Like appFigures, MWA strives to help developers succeed. MWA and App Friday co-founder, Lorraine Akemann, has played a vital role in our recent outreach efforts within the developer community.

We love connecting with our members to find out more about your needs. With that in mind, we reached out to Lorraine to get her perspective, as both a developer and a community organizer, about how developers can use appFigures, and data in general, to find the insights that matter. Her findings were so interesting, we’ve decided to bring them to you in this three-part series:

Today’s kids are tech savvy, and app makers realize that family-friendly content is filling a growing niche. As independent developers turn their apps into businesses, they rely on data to help chart their course. What circumstances can change an app’s rankings? Which country generates the most downloads? Which day of the week is most popular for sales? You name it, app developers want to track it.

I interviewed several app makers from the Moms With Apps community about how they use data. Three main themes emerged: 1) analyze past data to chart historical trends, 2) monitor current data to evaluate visibility, and 3) synthesize past and present data to adjust future business strategy. In this article I will illustrate key points from each theme with specific developer testimonials.

Historical Trends

1. Tracking sales to refine the target market

“Our initial wave of apps is targeted at occupational therapists (OTs) first, and parents second. Two years of sales data indicates that OTs buy apps primarily while they are at work, Monday-Friday.  Dexteria Jr. is the first in our second wave of apps, and we are trying to transition our targeting to parents first and OTs second because the parents market is 10x the size of the OT market.  Studying the recent data allowed us to confirm that the strategy is working; our traditional weekend sales dip is being mitigated by weekend purchasers of Dexteria Jr.”  Frank Jensen, Dexteria

2. Tracking profits over time

“Recently, data from appFigures led to a crucial change in our company priorities. We tracked the percentage of our profits that come from educational purchases, and saw a clear increase over the past two years. Because of that, we’ve just released the Motion Math: Play Pack, a single game bundle that teachers have requested.” Jacob Klein, Motion Math

3. Tracking downloads by country

“We have been getting substantial downloads from China, but relatively little sales. We used appFigures to identify the trends from China, to compare it’s monetization against other markets we sell into, then make some decisions on how much effort we should invest into China as a market.” Andrew Kao, Puzzingo

Lorraine Akemann is co-founder of Moms With Apps, a collaborative network of developers who create apps for kids. After launching her own app in 2009, she recognized the need for knowledge-sharing and cross-marketing to help gain exposure in the App Store marketplace. Lorraine’s advocacy and efforts are focused on supporting apps that are designed to respect children and families, and her partnership with the Association for Competitive Technology is based on bringing best practices in online privacy to the forefront of kids’ app development. You can find Lorraine on Twitter @momswithapps

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