Selling in Mobile Markets – Rana Sobhany, VP Marketing at Medialits in NYC Â (firstname.lastname@example.org)
TOC Conference – Monday Feb. 22nd, 9 – 12:30
I came to this session after the morning break, so I missed the first 90 minutes. Â Rana was a great speaker – lots of stories, examples, and practical information – no death by powerpoint! Â The notes below are from the last hour of the presentation, which focused on building applications. While this presentation was directed to publishers, the information is pertinent for libraries too. Â We surely won’t spend $50K to develop an app, nor charge anyone to download, but the marketing, measuring, and testing are all relevant. Â The very last bullet point is critical for libraries wanting to develop mobile apps.
Tips for building an application for mobile devices
- understand your target market and the platform they will be using
- Expect to pay about $50,000 to build a high quality iPhone app (not sure what her figures are based on)
- how do you justify the initial cost $20 – 100K of a free app? Â Rana suggests to offer a cheaper free app with option to purchase a higher quality version or use internal coupons to track use and lead customers to purchase opportunities
- test on all devices, all operating systems
- users aren’t forgiving when it comes to bugs from a brand they respect – make sure the quality is there.
- you aren’t married to the platform’s primary app store, but you should be. Â Don’t dilute your brand. The promotion you get from the primary app store is important, they are dedicated to you since you used their platform.
- pricing is key – $4.99 on app store is the sweet spot. if you provide enough value, this is the right place to be for ebook publishers. $.99 is just fluff.
- $2.99 base price on BlackBerry App World, so $.99 is not an option
- 20 MB limit on mobile download of iPhone apps – keep this in mind when developing your app
- launch date – set this to capitalize, everything (marketing) needs to come together at the same time, put it far in advance, get it approved, then move the launch date to about a week after that
- speak to the press 1-2 weeks before the app launches and give them screenshots of the app’s functionality and value proposition to users
- be innovative, but not too innovative. Â not too flashy with too many widgets and fancy things. Â Focus on adding value to what people are already doing with your content (annotate, dog ear pages, etc) – the culture of this industry and the people who use ebooks/information is important to consider
- be consistent – similar look/feel for all apps, app family (consistent logo or other corporate branding consistent) – it will encourage them to purchase more of your apps
- measuring success – mobile is incredibly measurable, make sure you use the data to manage your app and information. Â google analytics, flurry, and other companies offer this service for free
- icons on the cell phone are a constant brand reminder, view it as a relationship
- pick someone on the team to be responsible for metrics and analysis around the mobile program
- fail quickly, iterate rapidly
- 30% – apple and blackberry take this from paid applications, this pays for the infrastructure of the software. Â Having the central repository for apps encourages people to download more
- what techniques will help get momentum for your app? – 3rd party validation, spend time being engaged in media, use your own platform, more people that download in the first 48 hours the higher it will be ranked
- what do you get from apple? when someone downloads your app you don’t get much info from apple, that’s why people use the 3rd party Â vendors
- Stanford University has their entire iphone softwareÂ building course on iTunes, for free. Â This is where a lot of people are learning how to create apps.