I remember the first time I saw my wife. She worked at a former hot spot called Stony Monday’s in Ottawa's Byward Market and she was cutting up limes on a countertop, preparing for the nightly rush. Our eyes met. Then I got that we're-going-to-spend-the-rest-of-our-lives-together feeling. Two kids, a dog and nearly 16 years later we're still happily in love. I guess you could say she stood out in the crowd.
Photo: My wife, Vicki… standing out!
This same concept can be applied when marketing apps in app stores. In 2013, app downloads are anticipated to reach 81 billion, rocketing towards 310 billion by 2016. Moreover, Apple’s App Store and Google Play – the world’s two mega marketplaces for mobile applications – currently have more than 900,000 and 850,000 apps available for download, respectively. Not to mention a heaping helping of apps available in brand name stores such as BlackBerry World and Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 store -- as well as a robust ecosystem of third-party app stores. So… there's lots of interest in all those fish in the sea but it's hard for those fish to get noticed.
Recently, I chatted with Matt Palmer, CMO at AppClover, and Rob Woodbridge, mobile business consultant and host of UNTETHER.TV. We drilled down on tactics that can help mobile apps get noticed in today’s saturated app superstores. The discussion was part of a nationally-syndicated marketing podcast called The Voice, which I co-host for International Association of Business Communicators.
One of the key discussion points was the importance of the app icon. Take a moment right now. Look at the screen of your mobile handset for just three seconds. Which app icon stood out for you? Why?
I encourage you to learn more by listening to the full podcast. Stream it below or access it here. You’ll get more helpful tips to create app marketing plans that get results. Hey, who says you can't stand out in a crowded market. My wife did. And I’m the better for it!
If you are experiencing technical problems, please access the podcast here.
Macadamian’s Jean-Francois Morin (right) used Web Real-Time Communication technology today in Ottawa to activate a browser-to-browser video call from a laptop to an Android tablet held by Macadamian’s Doug Michaelides during WebRTC: Transforming Enterprise Communication. Experts agreed immediate customer service opportunities exist for content providers, contact centres and online retailers.
To access a transcript of the event, please click here.
Listen to this sample audio clip from the podcast!
This is the first of four instalments in our audio podcast series titled, The UX Power Tools Behind Compelling Software -- featuring one of Macadamian's all-star user experience researchers, Anneliis Tosine, and user experience designers, Sara Fortier.We kick off the series by drilling down on the critical importace of task-based personas.
Task-based personas capture the motivations and behaviors of a group of users, as well as the actions those users need to take, when interacting with a software product.
They play an essential role in demystifying the outcomes users are trying to achieve so software teams can create incredible user experiences.
In this exclusive audio podcast we delve into task-based personas to help you:
- prioritize and focus choices about product features and design;
- pinpoint user needs to distinguish apps in the marketplace;
- discover radical innovation opportunities.
For the past several months the Macadamian team has been busy travelling around the world to stay on top of all the coolest new technologies. I can tell you from what we’ve seen and heard that Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is the hot topic that has people talking.
You probably know WebRTC enables instant video, voice and text communications, as well as screen-sharing, between Internet browsers – without the trouble of proprietary software plug-ins. This is great news for Macadamian and anyone else like us who’s in the business of building amazing customer experiences. I believe WebRTC has the X-factor that’s going to shake things up. It’s going to humanize Web software and enrich the nature of interactions between people online and on mobile.
(Left to right) Hugh Finnan, director of product management, Google Chrome, and Todd Simpson, chief of innovation, Mozilla, demo the first WebRTC video chat between Firefox and Chrome. Watch the video.
We are much more visual than we think. Before I expand on that thought let’s consider the 7%-38%-55% rule. Back in the late ‘60s a smart guy named Albert Mehrabian discovered that only 7% of people’s perceptions of you are based on the actual words you speak. The other 93% of people’s perceptions of you are formed from your tone of voice (38%) and body language (55%).
WebRTC is all about creating more meaningful and authentic experiences. Since experiences are about feeding input to our senses, visual interaction potential is about to be unleashed with the accessibility of WebRTC. It’s inspiring a culture shift where people connect easily, spontaneously and naturally, and free of barriers, in ways we never dreamed. Imagine consumers browsing your company’s website and activating instant chats with you or your staff. The best customer experiences will result from your ability to convey awesome verbal and – you guessed it – non-verbal communications, especially in light of the live video chat capabilities of WebRTC.
The bottom line for businesses is that this is a chance to build stronger relationships with customers and gain an advantage in today’s competitive marketplace.
If you happen to be in Ottawa on May 23, we’re hosting an event in collaboration with the Ottawa Product Management Association titled, WebRTC: Transforming Enterprise Communication. I encourage you to learn more and register at www.WebRTCOttawa.com.
It’s going to be very interesting to see how WebRTC pans out in the years to come. One thing is for sure: you can count on Macadamian being in the know and ready to offer insights on this innovation.
Here are some great articles and links on WebRTC along with a story describing Mehrabian’s study:
- WebRTC - official website
- WebRTC Conference & Expo, June 25-27, 2013
- Businesses need to explore Firefox, Chrome's WebRTC to bolster services and cut costs
- 5 Threats that Could Derail WebRTC
- A wakeup call for start-ups: WebRTC video built into the Web
- WebRTC, Online Code Editor Team Up for Real-Time Coding
- Macadamian WebRTC Media Release
- Macadamian May 23 Event Registration in Ottawa - WebRTC: Transforming Enterprise Communications
- Psychology Today - Is Nonverbal Communication a Numbers Game?
Let’s play a game: I took screenshots of some apps on my phone and I removed pretty much all the content and other identifying marks. Can you still identify the apps?
Did you guess? Here’s the answer in case you didn’t:
All those screenshots were taken on iOS. In this familiar, consistent environment, the 4 applications are easily recognizable as their own individual brands.
What happens to that brand identity when you start moving the applications to different platforms? What do you preserve?
Windows 8 Version
From those screengrabs, we can see that the Twitter look and feel is very consistent between the web version, the iOS version and the Blackberry 10 version. When we move to the Android and Windows Phone 8, the choice was made to move closer to the platform look and feel and a little further away from the twitter look and feel.
When you choose to do that, You have to use a more subtle way to express your branding. You have to be consistent with your color schemes, typography, icons and hopefully, you can squeeze your logo in there. But is that enough?
Looking at the Android and Windows Phone 8 applications, would they still be as recognizable if I went into photoshop and did the same thing to them that I did to the iOS app?
Why did they choose to stick to their iOS branding for BB10 but not for WP8 and Android? Is it because the platform is so new? Is it because Android users get upset when you give them an app that looks like an iOS app?