As marketers, we all know the world of utility and potential that the digital world brings to the table. We also know the world of junk that often explosively follows behind. Following the trends of connected devices and converging formats of media we have clearly seen the immense growth of apps based on their ability to provide simple functionality and increased utility to daily consumer life.
The problem once again however, is that most apps are also… junk. The mobile market saw a jump from somewhere around 400 applications to 400,000 in the span of a few years. Some have been very well created, orchestrated and adopted. Some have without apparent reason, flourished (Hello Angry birds). The others have provided a disservice to the companies that created them, a disservice to consumers using them and to the landscape at large . They have fragmented the ecosystem in ways that are not needed while creating yet another difficult to navigate digital jungle. A digital jungle that lessens the ability of truly functional apps to get in the hands of the right people. Increased saturation of weak apps have a domino effect in regards to more widespread negative implications on media consumption.
Our focus is on the creation of TV Apps, but the same quandary that I will discuss below applies across the board. The issue however, is that currently there are around 500 TV Apps not 500,000. Yet. This embryonic number will change and it will grow and the purpose of this article is on avoiding the mistakes of the past. Mistakes that have created an ecosystem that while robust, is not always functional.
1. Do not create a TV App just to create an App. Do not create one because you see others creating one. Do not create one to keep up with the “Marketing Jones’s”. I can’t tell you how many Apps we see created, developed and proposed that have little to no value. Often a company or their marketing firm develops an application for the sheer purpose of development. For the sheer purpose of adopting the technology as they think it will provide a silver bullet. This is wrong. When creating an app one has to understand that it has to have incredibly high value to users. A simple extension to a website, a simple marketing vehicle, an unnecessary task that doesn’t streamline or enhance daily life has no business in the marketplace. When creating an App, the first question should not be of brand value. It should not be of stunning creative. It should not be of adaptability, cost, or potential branding components. The first question should always be, will this TV App have endemic functionality and value to a specific group or broad based grouping of consumers? End point. Without an incredibly solid value statement to the consumer, I implore you to focus on other areas of your marketing.
2. Start researching how psychology ties into the User Experience. I have been arguing this claim for quite awhile and consulting in this area on a lot of levels. User Experience in our opinion is the most important consideration to take into effect once functionality/value of an app has been established. Aside from easy navigation, functional usage, and flexibility, one should apply some strong psychological foundations to the development process. In today’s busy market, psychological marketing foundations provide a method to enrich and create the most applicable experience. One should research the ways individuals can and will interact with their specific App based on heightened research into their specific consumers.
b. Now I am going to say something that certain factions of the research world won‘t love. The paid research you buy, while it has it’s place, is also lacking one element. It has no customization. To truly create that “killer App” you have to specifically conduct research into the psychological, sociological and media consumption factors that apply to nobody else but you and your brand. Paid Research will only go so far. If you want to stand out, if you want to achieve brand lift, if you want your app to be adopted, it needs to apply multiple foundational marketing principals with an emphasis on psychology.
3. Finally while we at CTV Advertising love the potential that Connected TV Advertising, Social TV and second screen integration can bring, smart companies also have to know when to hold em, and know when to fold them. Marketing technology has come an incredibly long way. This doesn’t mean it will solve your woes. It doesn’t mean you will be any more competitive or create additional value. These are tools that require a solid hand behind them. Without a solid hand holding that tool, all the greatest Ad tech novelties will do little more than waste your budget.