Why Mobile Product and Marketing Should Be Separated from App Development

Business.com / Technology / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Here are tips for eliminating creative lag in mobile apps by separating the processes. Learn more inside.

Creative Lag

Back when marketers focused only on web marketing, there were plenty of ways to improve engagement on a website that could go live fairly quickly. The CMS and marketing automation systems allowed marketers to cover anything from personalization to calls-to-action and from special campaigns to banners, and more.

These days, the lives of mobile marketers and app product owners are quite different than those of web marketers from only a few years ago. If they want to change their mobile app or add user engagement features (such as surveys, tutorials, and banners, among others) to drive retention and conversion, they have to get in line and wait for the development resources to become available.

Sometimes, they have to forgo their plans altogether. Why? Because apps weren’t built for the types of changes marketers need make, and they are dependent on development cycles.

Related Article: Device Agnostic: Top 5 Cross Platform App Development Tools in 2016 

Here Is a Real-Life Example

There was a retailer that ran a charity donation program on their website. As with all websites, the effort involved in launching the program was relatively reasonable. All they had to do was produce good creative and put a CMS and marketing automation system into use.

The retailer then decided to implement the same campaign on their mobile app. While the app is a strong and important channel for this retailer, adding the donation program was not a trivial feat. It required serious development to make fundamental changes to the core of the app’s functionality.

This obstacle was the source of the app release cycle lag between the marketing idea (the donation program) and mobile development.

After realizing that the amount of work and time needed in order to launch the program on mobile was too great, and that they wouldn’t even be able to go live before the program end-date, the retailer decided to pull the plug on the idea, and they donated the funds that were allocated to the campaign, instead.

The Release Cycle Lag

Release cycle lag, like in the scenario described in the example above, is typical to the world of mobile apps.

Developers focus their efforts around the app’s core functionality, and rightfully so. After all, they are responsible, first and foremost, for realizing the vision behind the app’s core value. But app product owners and marketers must also be able to constantly update and optimize the customer’s journey inside the app.

The web wasn’t always as flexible as it is now.  In fact, the web used to be quite rigid and all changes had to be managed by R&D or IT people. Marketers had to wait in line to start their initiatives, test, and go live. The world has changed much since then, and it will soon change for apps, as well, because app end-users expect highly personalized experiences, and app product owners and mobile marketers need to meet those expectations.

Separating Development From Product and Marketing

If app product and marketing teams  want to be able to rapidly test their ideas and optimize user engagement, they need to find a way to become independent. This is what mobile app engagement platforms offer. These sophisticated platforms enable adding rich engagement features to live apps, without requiring any development. If no code is added to the app, there is no need to wait for the next app cycle, and the engagement campaigns can go live in minutes.

This separation leaves development teams with resources to focus on core development and innovation, and it lets app product and marketing teams operate independently and more effectively. This means that they can test an abundant amount of potentially successful ideas to find the best ones for engaging their segmented users.

Separating app product and marketing from development saves time and resources by replacing a sequential process with a parallel one – product, marketing and development teams can work simultaneously instead of one waiting for the other in order to move forward with their tasks. This is why mobile engagement platforms are set to change the lives of app product owners, developers and marketers and make apps more successful.

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