Omega Mobile: Mobile Experience Design Blog
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Archive for August, 2010

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Recently I’ve noticed that branded apps are evolving beyond “see the product, find the store” and focusing on utility aligned with a brand message. This is a trend that those developing mobile marketing and advertising apps should study and embrace.

Mobile App Design Trend

For example, there’s a new app from Kimberly-Clark that helps parents potty train their kids. The iGo Potty was created to give parents information and tools without advertising or direct sales. This is a great move from the makers of Pull-ups in light of a new study reported in the New York Times. The study says that the demographic group most interested in receiving mobile advertising is mobile owners with children.

Another company avoiding the hard sell in a mobile marketing/branded apps is organic foods chain Whole Foods. Mobile Marketer reported that the Whole Food’s Market Missions application centers around missions encouraging a healthier lifestyle. “Advanced Lettuceness” and “Smoothie Operator” let consumers complete steps, earn badges and share favorite tips through email and social media. This is an excellent example of aligning users needs with a free and useful tool while reinforcing mission and brand.

Wedding planning can be a very long, very complex and very costly endeavor. The newly renamed Brides Wedding Genius app has tools to keep insanity at bay including everything you need to know about dresses, rings and honeymoon locations. Conde Nast’s Brides magazine has expanded the iPhone and iPad application and added Marriott Hotels & Resorts as an aligned sponsor. Another great targeted utility app that knows its audience and isn’t afraid to embrace it.

Mobile advertising and mobile marketing oriented branded apps that focus on knowing their audience, aligning with their mission, and promoting utility will find better results than the hard sell.

Pad Gadget had a post about the just released NBC Universal iPad app. Bravo Now is designed to be a companion to live television viewing. Bravo Now delivers a tight mobile user experience integrated into Bravo’s chat network “Talk Bubble” that connects viewers with the behind the scenes creators and stars of its shows.

Bravo SocialTV

Interactive and social television is usually delivered ALONG with a broadcast stream. However, a companion app to a show is a great idea that brings Social Television over and above traditional programming and viewing. The use of a mobile device makes deployment easier and quicker than tv devices. It can also deliver great mobile user experiences that are optimized for mobile devices.

The Superbowl might be the only televised event these days that brings people together at the same time, in the same room to experience a televised event simultaneously. With the evolution of DVRs, Hulu, YouTube and other online streaming sites, shared television watching has been deeply fragmented. Social TV brings together programming, communication and social interaction to perfectly promote next-day water cooler talk. This is vital not only for word-of-mouth promotion but important for advertisers and sponsors.

I had a few ideas about how to expand and improve the mobile user experience on a tv network application:

  • Sell season passes to a show
  • Sell monthly subscriptions to the network as a whole
  • Offer discounts for DVD purchases if you’ve purchased earlier shows
  • Offer viewers a limited amount of recent episodes for free but charge for older episodes
  • Offer discounts for additional merchandise (such as associated games)
  • Offer free content (like daily trivia or wallpapers) that a user can distribute virally

Benefits include:

  • Harvesting valuable viewer demographics by offering free programming in exchange for answering profile questions
  • The ability to promote other shows on network at same time
  • Create deeper immersion with characters and network experience with the ability to look up information on your favorite actors or their characters.

Look for other networks to quickly enter the live TV app market.