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What analytical and marketing tools should you include in your business plan for a mobile application? What benchmarks are a must to prepare a business plan for your application or a mobile game? What exact information should you include in your mobile app business plan? You will find all the answers in this text!

One of the most common steps before getting financing for your application or mobile game, or before starting development, is to prepare a business plan for your app. Preparing a business plan for your mobile application is much more difficult than preparing a plan for a small business that operates locally due to the scale of operation and the number of variables.

Before you take your first step in creating a business plan for your mobile application, you should have a mobile app mockup with the exact number of screens and functionalities that will be included in your app. The software house can use this document to estimate the cost of creating the mobile application, and the valuation with a detailed schedule must be included in the business plan in the section Mobile application development costs (Development/team costs + broken down monthly).

I’m assuming that you are aware of the development costs of your mobile app, so in this article we will focus on the acquisition and monetization aspects of the mobile app business plan.

The business plan for your mobile application should fit in one Excel document.

In today’s post, I will describe 4 basic sections that you should include in your mobile app business plan:

Monthly breakdown of costs of marketing and analytical tools

If you are introducing an application or a mobile game to the App Store or Google Play in 2021, investing in tools will be a must. Which tools should you consider when creating a business plan for your mobile app or game?

Mobile app analytics tools – one of the essential tools that will allow you to understand your user, his behavior in the game, in the mobile app and get to know KPI indicators (retention, ARPPU, ARPDAU etc.). The market offers over a dozen mobile analytics tools (Firebase – Google Analytics, GameAnalytics, devtodev, DeltaDna, Unity Analytics and others) in games and mobile applications. Some tools are free, while others are freely available up to a certain number of monthly active users.

If you are promoting your mobile application, Firebase/Google Analytics will be the way to go. If you are dealing with games, it is worth reaching for other platforms for mobile analytics.

Mobile attribution (Mobile Measurement Partner) – one of the key tools if you conduct canvassing activity and bet on paid installations of apps, games from ad networks (Facebook, Google Ads, Apple Search Ads, Unity Ads, Vungle, Applovin, Adcolony and others). Mobile attribution is used to analyze the effectiveness of individual campaigns, ad groups and ad creations in terms of return on investment for advertising. By means of the MMP platform, you can find out your cost of one installation, the cost of user registration or the cost of a paying user. If you earn money from in-game advertising, you will know your exact daily earnings from one user or the same data for, e.g., 7 days (e.g. Hyper-Casual games).

The most important platforms in the mobile attribution market are Tenjin, Singular, Appsflyer, Adjust. For example, Tenjin is free for up to 1 million events. Additional million in-game or in-app events per month will cost $ 150.

Other MMP tools have a different pricing model (cost for paid installation, monthly cost depending on the monthly marketing budget to promote the game or application). The MMP platform for mobile attribution is a must-have if you intend to launch a game or a mobile app on the market.

App Store Optimization tools – one of the basic sources of application downloads on Google Play and the App Store is organic traffic, which is divided into organic traffic from search and organic traffic from browsing. You can boost organic traffic from search and organic traffic from browsing the store (categories, applications, similar games, You might also like), namely the number of app views, the number of visits to the product page and the number of installations by optimizing the metadata (title, brief description and description for Google Play and title, subtitle, keywords, in-apps for iOS).

When it comes to marketing mobile apps, positioning mobile applications and optimization of metadata is a long-term strategy. There are over a dozen tools on the mobile marketing market (Appfollow, Appradar, MobileAction, Apptweak, Appannie) for App Store Optimization. If you are an indie developer, it is worth investing in an ASO marketing tool. All App Store Optimization tools work in the subscription model.

Tools for detecting installation frauds – if you plan to advertise your application or game through Facebook or Universal campaigns that promote applications in Google Ads and you are conducting small-scale operations (small number of partners and a small number of installments paid per month), you will not be needing a fraud detection tool in your campaigns.

However, if you operate on a large scale and are looking to promote your game, application in several video advertising networks, using motivated traffic and affiliation, you will have to invest in fraud detection tools such as Scalarr or Fraudscore.

Data Warehouse (Big Data, data warehouse) – The basis of BI (business analytics) systems is a data warehouse, i.e., a basic tool for any major developer who wants to understand the user in their game, and also to make so-called smart decisions when it comes to game development, e.g. in terms of retention and increasing revenue per user. The most popular data warehouses for applications and mobile games are currently BigQuery or AWS Amazon.

Business analytics (BI – Business Intelligence) –in order to visualize data from a data warehouse you will need a business analytics tool.

The most popular business intelligence tools for games and applications around today are Looker and Tableau.

The largest development studios build their own systems for business analytics (BI).

Automation of advertising campaigns – if you run a huge number of campaigns in several advertising networks, it is worth focusing on the automation of acquisition activities based on selected indicators.

One such platform is Bidshake. In the future, the acquisition of users for games and mobile applications will be mainly based on automation.

Installation and registration costs, the cost to acquire a paying user (advertising campaigns, creating advertising materials)

One of the key sections in your app business plan is the section with acquisition costs in selected advertising channels. These costs should be broken down into several levels depending on the business model. If you are advertising a hyper-casual game, your main cost will be CPI or ECPI, and if you are promoting a mobile application in a subscription model, your main indicators will be user registration cost, paying user acquisition cost.

To prepare this data, you will need to know the market benchmarks for a given advertising network (e.g. the cost of acquiring an installation in the US through the Applovin advertising network) or, for example, what % of users make purchases in the dating application. This data is available in reports of ad networks, analytics tools, mobile attribution.

Monthly breakdown of estimation of the number of downloads, revenues and ROAS

An even more difficult task in the business plan is to estimate monthly revenue using the retention rates D1, D7 and the number of daily ad impressions when we know the eCPM. No two games are the same and sometimes the estimates of mobile game developers are simply overstated. If your mobile application or game is monetized with IAP, you will need other indicators to estimate your revenues.

The above three worksheets should be your starting point for creating an app business plan. Of course, you can expand it with other sections depending on whether you intend to launch a game or a mobile application on the market. If you need a professional business plan for your application or mobile game, please contact us: hello@arpubrothers.com or fill in this form.

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ARPU Brothers Founder, App marketing agency for mobile apps and games

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