Here's how to grow your apps, and win a cool prize along the way


IN a competitive world that’s very quickly becoming more digitalised and advanced, new ways of marketing ideas or products are key to reach a large target audience fast.

Coined in 2010 by entrepreneur and startup advisor Sean Ellis, the term “growth hacking” means prioritising scalable growth and following a process of forming and testing ideas.

It should be analytical enough to identify the growth drivers that work and the ones to shelve.

For app developers, this method is one of the many strategies to adopt to optimise in each step of their mobile app life cycle.

And with Huawei having launched its second AppsUP contest last month, this would be one of the methods contestants can use to edge up their growth potential.

In this article, experts weigh in on how to jumpstart their growth.

Professional advice

Arsanesia CEO Adam Ardisasmita says that it is crucial to have a good product.

“How your apps stand out in the market will always keep changing, and you need to keep up,” he explains.

“To grow your product, especially a video game, good community management is the key,” besides listening to user's feedback, analysing their behavior, and engaging with them actively, he says.

Plug and Play Tech Centre co-founder Jojo Flores says app creators should try as many growth hacks as possible.

“You’ll need to throw as much as you can on the wall and see which one sticks,” he says.

He proposes releasing as many product features over time as a high per user engagement is sometimes better than having more users.

Flores adds that creativity and entrepreneurship fuel growth hacking, and not to use guess-work.

Instead, actual data should be gleaned from customer engagement and feedback to determine the next move.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)'s Global Business Development, Global Growth Acceleration head Ryan Chan recommends being customer-centric.

“Have a clear vision of who your intended users are and how you’re serving their needs, then design a holistic marketing and PR campaign using the most relevant and up-to-date channels to reach them.”

This helps you lock in on a plan and start using analytics to understand usage behaviour, personas, and events, which dictate the best plans for your apps.

Growth hackers are curious, he says, and constantly seek out tactics and strategies that work.

Following an iterative and continuous process, they use learnings, observations and outcomes as feedback, which in turn offer insights into product development.

Singapore Games Association (SGGA) chairperson Gwen Guo advises exploring data-driven decisions by studying the target audience’s purchases and engagement habits, then crafting your app’s marketing plan on that.

Guo also suggests forming relationships with launch platforms to understand features that boost visibility, and to explore social media and trends that help with your app’s marketing plan.

Blue ocean environment

Pursuing a blue ocean strategy can be a great choice for start-ups that are eager for quick growth and gain.

AppGallery, the official app market by Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) is launched globally in 2018 April and now has over 540 million active users worldwide.

Although AppGallery is growing rapidly within just three years, it is still a comparatively new player in the market. Early entrants in this less saturated market means easier discovery for their apps – leading to higher visibility and quicker downloads.

Apac Huawei Consumer Cloud Service director Shane Shan says HMS offers start-to-end support for its partners to nurture a sustainable mobile ecosystem.

Besides the full suite of open capabilities and the local technical team to ease the app development process, HMS also has supported partners by tailoring co-marketing campaigns based on each app’s unique selling points and local preferences.

Joining the HMS ecosystem also provides both online and offline touchpoints, such as Huawei native apps and retail stores, to help partners increase product exposure and reach potential users effectively.

AppsUP 2021 as a stepping stone

Huawei’s intention in creating the AppsUP contest was to inspire and support developers in adopting and integrating its HMS Core Kits to create innovative apps.

The contest runs separately across five regions, including the Apac, Europe, Latin America, Mainland China and the Middle East and Africa.

This year’s Apac edition will see contestants across the region pit their skills and talents to win from a prize pool of US$200,000 in ten award categories.

These include the Best App, Best Game, Best Social Impact Award, Honorable App Award and Most Popular App Award; as well as new categories including AppGallery Rising Star Award, Best Fintech Innovation Award, Best HMS Core Innovation Award, Excellent Student Award and Tech Women’s Award.

As many as 20 outstanding apps will be selected based on their social value, business value, user experience and innovativeness.

AppsUP is a global contest organised by Huawei to inspire developers to create innovative apps that integrate HMS Core. To sign up, visit the AppsUP page and register by Sept 5.

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