Posted by Ted Curtin on Oct 12, 2011 in Blog, Branding & Design, Creativity & Innovation, Digital & Online, Media, Technology
Mobile technology gives consumers instant access to more information than ever. Apps allow companies to promote their products and services, interact with customers, and solidify their brand’s value proposition throughout all stages of the customer sales journey. But don’t put the App before the strategy. Apps alone won’t mobilize your brand and an App isn’t going to draw users just because it’s there. An App that simply helps you sell your product is about as appealing as using your DVR to record infomercials.
So before you commit some serious time, money and human resources to designing, developing and promoting your new App, you should ask yourself these 12 Most important questions:
1. What are your goals?
Whatever your goals are, they have to be clearly defined and measurable. Those goals could be as broad as brand awareness or as specific as increased sales in particular market segments. Maybe your goal is service-oriented and designed to increase transactional efficiency, or perhaps simply to drive deeper levels of engagement with your existing customer base.
2. How will you measure success?
How you measure is often as important as what you measure. Otherwise, you risk the measurement driving the process instead of simply providing the necessary insight to help you achieve your goals. Some third party tracking systems can easily plug into your metrics feed while internal or home grown systems can be integrated into the custom app development right from the start.
3. What problem will your app solve?
It’s no secret, in order for your mobile App to be successful, it needs to solve a problem. The more useful your solution is and the easier it is to use, the more successful your App will be. When deciding what problem your mobile App will solve, consider the four primary contextual mindsets for someone using a tablet or smartphone device:
1) Boredom: We’ve all been there – on a train, or bus, maybe in an airport, but hopefully not in a meeting, where you just felt like playing.
2) Location: Arguably, the most significant components of these devices are the proximity tools that let you, your friends and yes, even marketers know where you are. The opportunities abound for location-based assistance, information and deals.
3) Multitasking: Most people aren’t about to ditch their flat screens for a tablet, but while you’re watching that game or favorite show, many of us have found the availability of supplemental information to be a great enhancement to other experiences.
4) Immediate Need: Offering the best opportunity for engagement and providing value to your customers — the ability to satisfy a need or deliver on a promise — is where this medium outshines all others. Whether it’s as utilitarian as directions, or as spontaneous as a recommendation for a romantic restaurant, from airline reservations to a recipe for the juiciest grilled chicken, need-based mobile usage can sometimes be the most powerful way to connect with and serve your audience.
4. Who is your audience?
We often think of Apps solely as a consumer marketing tool and indeed, they serve that function very well. But equally useful is the internal enterprise front where we’re seeing some of the strongest levels of tablet adaptation and integration. Companies large and small are taking advantage of this medium’s power and portability to boost sales team productivity, improve operational logistics and enhance internal communications. Even the medical industry has embraced the potential of tablet Apps to increase efficiency, enhance clinical diagnoses, and take patient care to a whole new level.
If you are targeting customers, you should already have a sense of their needs, but that doesn’t mean the majority of your audience uses mobile devices (yet). Overall, mobile internet and tablet adaptation have a way to go before they are primary or even mainstream channels of communication.
5. Is your target audience here?
If you are targeting consumers with your mobile App, you need to make sure that this is a channel that they’re tuned in to. Don’t laugh! There are countless examples of marketing messages being delivered over channels that are irrelevant to the audience. Have you ever seen QR codes on an ad down in a NY subway station? Good luck finding service there.
6. What experiences do you want to integrate?
The primary purpose for a native App vs. a mobile website is the ability to take advantage of the devices built in features to deliver a more relevant experience to your user. Internal cameras (which are now as good if not better than many point-and-shoot devices), GPS devices to establish location, as well as the accelerometers which sense even the slightest movement and changes in orientation of the device can all be incorporated to create a unique experience that engages the user. From customized gaming to localized communications and retail discounts, the options are only as limited as your imagination.
7. Do you need an app — or just a mobile website?
If you’re not integrating the distinctive Smart Phone and Tablet features and capabilities, you might not need to invest the significant expense and development time to build a native App. M-web or mobile websites offer an easy and affordable tool to deliver information and content to mobile users. M-web sites can either replicate content from your existing website in a way that fits appropriately with a smaller smartphone screen or provide a streamlined experience that a mobile user is most likely to use. Some companies have even adapted a mobile-first approach to all things “web” as a way to clean up and unclutter legacy websites that have become burdened with irrelevant or outdated content.
8. What point of the customer journey will you target?
Assuming this is not an enterprise App for your employees, what contextual relevance do you bring to the channel that makes your App so useful to your target audience? The inherent features that provide location and movement information lend themselves well to final decision and even point of purchase, but don’t rule out the value devices can have with product awareness, and on the other end, customer support.
9. What platforms will you support?
Apple’s proprietary IOS platform certainly gets a lot of media attention, but Google’s Android operating system is more widely distributed across the world of tablet and mobile devices. Before developing your App you should assess where your target audience is concentrated and then decide accordingly if you will launch across multiple platforms or, perhaps only support one at first with the intention of rolling out to further platforms if your App is successful and the demand is there.
10. Is it worth the cost?
To develop a native App can be an expensive proposition. Not including personnel resources, you can spend between $5,000 and $50,000 depending on the level of complexity and which development firm or agency you use. Most companies should plan to spend between $15,000 and $25,000. Mobile websites, on the other hand, are significantly less expensive to create. Also, since it is not a native application running on someone’s smartphone or tablet device, there are no distribution costs to factor in.
11. App distribution
Android’s Marketplace and the iPhone/iPad App Store are the two primary distribution sources for native Apps. Apple happens to also charge a $99 developers license fee, but once your App is posted, you also need to promote it. You’ll need to decide what combination of channels you want to use, but social media channels are a great point of promotion as well as linking from your own website, but don’t discount old-fashion e-mail as a great way to invite existing customers to download your App. E-mail still offers a fantastic level of personalization and doesn’t limit the space that you have to tout the benefits and features of your App. You can even link to online videos to demonstrate your App’s functionality.
12. Do you need regional/cultural variations?
In percentage terms, mobile adaptation and mobile internet access is far greater among international/multi-cultural markets than domestic US web access. Computer-based internet access is expected to remain stronger than mobile internet access in the US until 2015. If your business is targeting multicultural audiences, a mobile App might be a significant opportunity to reach your customers more effectively.
Mobile is more than just smaller and thinner. Successful Apps have the ability to increase sales, deepen customer engagement and foster brand loyalty on a number of levels.
Just the same, an unsuccessful App can do significant damage to your brand if it sits dormant — functioning only as a constant reminder of your App’s (and possibly your brand’s) irrelevance. Ideally, your app will be part of a greater seamless multi-channel journey for your customers that enables a contextually relevant interaction with your brand across both traditional and new media spaces.
Evolució by Onionlab / Mapping Festival 2013
From the mailbox, a projection-mapping project:Hello!
I am contacting you to present Onionlab’s most recent piece, EvolucióYou will also find some high-resolution pictures here:And here is a brief description of the project:EvolucióOnionlab presents Evolució, a piece that revolves around the graphic and sound abstraction of the concept it is named after: evolution. It is construed as transformation, construction and alteration of reality through time; evolution as a discontinuous creation process as well.Created with 3D projection mapping techniques, this time, Evolució was projected onto the façade of the Musées d’art et d’histoire de Genève, though the piece takes the evolution concept even further: It was conceived as an open transformation process so that it can also be adapted to different façades and projection surfaces, and so that Evolució can continue its transformation process.
A new app uses the power of your own positive thinking to create a placebo effect—which works even if you know it’s happening.
You start by setting a goal: say, more joy or love in your life. Then, you choose someone to give you the placebo (maybe a friend or family member), what you want it to be (a pill, say), and where you want to take it (maybe a forest where you go running with a friend). You then “take” the placebo whenever you want to, following a pre-set ritual built into the app.
The point is to replicate what’s important about the placebo effect, which isn’t the pill itself, but the experience.