Thursday, 24 October 2013

3 Things We Learned at Apps World

If you're a techie, walking into the Apps World conference is akin to a child passing through the great gates into Disneyland. It's the sheer aggrandizement of all the things you know and love. And hearing the keynote speech delivered by Apple legend Steve Wozniak... it's like meeting Mickey Mouse for the very first time.

Over the past two days, scores of people from Europe and around the world piled into London's Earls Court Exhibition Centre to talk all things mobile. We were on hand for those two days and we thought we'd pass on a few things we learned from the experience.
  • Above all else, marketing is absolutely imperative. When the man known as 'Woz' says something, you'd better listen. In terms of marketing, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak had this to say: "It's a lot easier to think of an app and write it than to convince people to buy it." In other words, a great app must coincide with an effective marketing strategy in order for your business to succeed. Mobile gaming outfit Neon Play's CEO Olli Christie put it another way - "if you're not gonna shout about it, no one else will either."  
  • There's no single 'right way' to monetize your app. The debate rages, and will likely continue to rage, over how to best monetize an app. Should you use ad banners, video ads, in-app purchases, affiliate sales, or another of the multitude of ways to make money from an app? Well, that really depends on what your app is meant to do. Is adding in-app purchases to your game going to take away the time you need to fix or add something else? Are video ads going to frustrate your end user? These are some of the many questions you have to ask when you're looking to monetize.
  • Testing has to become a calculated part of your pre-release strategy. In the past, many companies chose to release their app and use the data from their end users to do any testing. Those days are gone. Now there is a push to test beforehand, as the market is becoming too saturated to give your competitors that edge in usability. That said, test smart - you don't have to test on every single device and OS. Prioritize and be pragmatic; this will yield the best results.

    Of course, there were lots of other things we learned too, like how best to sit in a seat with no seat-back, or how to slyly get into the event without a pass. But we'll save those tips for next year...

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