During mobile app development, resources are often stretched, and the time, money, and manpower you have to devote to your goals can be extremely limited. Before your mobile app development team picks up their tools and starts getting to work on a new piece of software, it's a good idea to start figuring out exactly who will be interested in downloading your latest offering.
Determining who your target audience is will make all the difference when the time to market your app comes. Doing it right, however, requires a little bit of hard work. The first thing you need to do is gather up as much broad demographic data as you can lay your hands on. Once you have this data at your disposal, it is time to start gathering information from smaller consumer subgroups. This will aid you in narrowing down your audience, giving you the data necessary to ascertain the types of people most likely to download and install your app.
Before you commit all your resources to developing a new piece of software, it's a good idea to make sure there isn't an app that already fills the niche you're hoping to take advantage of. It almost goes without saying, but if the audience you are targeting already has an app that satisfies their needs, the likelihood of them downloading your similar, competing app is small.
There are plenty of services out there you can employ to gather invaluable marketing data, from Google AdWords to third-party specialist applications like App Annie and Quantcast. The services offered by these programs differ from supplier to supplier, but they will help you gather everything you need to get started, mining other apps and programs for marketing data.
Of course, some data is more useful than others: gender, occupation, socio-economic status, age, location, and education are generally considered to be the most important, especially if you're trying to pin down the demographics of your target audience. Keep a close eye on trends, particularly ones that relate to apps similar to your own. Doing so will help you begin to build up a picture of your target audience and identify those consumers most likely to buy your product.