by David Ringler, Senior Digital Strategist & Project Manager (@the_ringy)
Part I of II
|Mobile apps are now a nearly standard part of the marketing and business mix. I could quote stat after stat about mobile device adoption rates, usage by demographics, iOS market share vs. Android market share and so on, but there’s really no need. You already know the stats demonstrate that mobile is the future. So instead of rehashing the continued growth of mobile, I want to talk about getting apps done.|
There’s hardly a day that goes by that I don’t have a conversation with a client about mobile app ideas that are incredibly unique and entertaining; and/or directly drive revenue; and/or are intended to drive mission-critical business activities. In most cases, clients need to get a quick idea of the app’s feasibility, budget and development timeframe.
If you’re beginning to investigate apps for your company, there are two important first steps to set yourself up for success: Organize your business case and requirements, and arm yourself with some technical app development knowledge. We’ll cover the first step today.
The Business Case
It won’t surprise you to hear that you should start with the basics:
|1.) Business Goals & ROI Model – Define the business goal(s) you believe you need an app to achieve. Sell profitably in app stores? Sell profitably via in-app purchases? Drive revenue via advertising? Provide deeper brand engagement with your customers? Perform enterprise-level operations functions?||
|2.) Define Your Users – When considering the end user, there is a lot to account for. Who is the end user(s), and what do you want them to do with the app? Do a little digging (actually, a lot if you can) to see what mobile devices your audiences are using. Google Analytics and even insights surveys can help you evaluate this important data set. Just as important, don’t forget an often ignored-until-it’s-too-late-user, your back-end administrators. Consider who will be managing the app’s content and administration in the long-run.||
|3.) Outline Your Features – The final features requirements will be scoped following a formal discovery & scoping phase with your digital partner. That said, it’s important to try and outline features, functionalities and user interface requirements that you know you need to include up front. It always helps to benchmark your features wish list against other apps that do the same thing well.|
|4.) Identify Your Data Integration – This is really important. If you need your app to tie into a CRM system, pull in weather data, access a proprietary database, process payment—anything that requires communication with something outside of the app itself—detail how and why you need that communication to take place. As a bonus step, investigate whether or not an API exists for that outside data source.||
The digital partners you evaluate will certainly have lots of questions even after you’ve outline the above details. But having this information ready is a vitally important internal process to help you evaluate if your company really needs to invest in a new app, and to identify the very best digital partner for the project.
In Part II, I discuss some of the technical considerations of native app development versus hybrid app development versus web app development. The PDF is available for viewing and download below.
by Scott Lanum, Vice President of Teleproduction Services (@slanum)
|With today’s compressed schedules and tight deadlines, there is a greater need to quickly identify the right voiceover talent for our productions. Over the years we have collected information and demos on talent, but the data was not readily accessible, did not live in a searchable database, and was difficult to keep updated. To overcome these challenges, we developed a database application to manage our voiceover talent pool.||
Setting up the Database
The first task was to gather talent information and demo reels. We decided rather than reformat the current talent information—which could be years old—we would start with fresh data. A talent registration link was created on our website and sent to the talent with whom we regularly work. This form included all of the search criteria we needed to enter into the database: gender, agency affiliation, voiceover descriptions as well as provisions to attach two samples reels, among others. Since the talent provided all of the registration information, our developers simply needed to import the data and link to the demo reels.
Reaching the Talent
We wanted to expand our talent library and invite anyone in the voiceover business to participate. We turned to LinkedIn and found a group called “Voiceover Gigs.” As a member of the group, we posted a short paragraph inviting talent to register with us online. (Those familiar with LinkedIn know that as a member of a group, you have access to members’ information, including how members exist—we were surprised to find out the group had over 4,600 members worldwide.) We received more than 500 registrations in the first two weeks, and our database grows every day.
Not only were we successful in cataloging great talent here in the states, but a surprising number of international talent also responded. Our database grows daily a with voiceover artists form Canada, UK, Europe and beyond.
Most of today’s successful talent have home studios, making it even easier to get great voices for your production. They offer ISDN lines, Pro Tools Source-Connect, and FTP services to deliver their audio tracks or files. Best of all, it really doesn’t matter if your voiceover talent is in Columbus or Columbia; the Internet and FTP services have made distance irrelevant.
Are you a professional voiceover talent? Register to join our database.