I was just about done with Twitter today, when in very short succession there appeared tweets by two of my followed friends on interesting topics. I went to take a look and found articles that I really REALLY urge you to go and read, if the topic is at all of interest to you.
First Kim Dushinski - you all know her, the author of by far the best book on mobile marketing, the Mobile Marketing Handbook - so she 'really' knows mobile marketing and advertising, eh? She recommends this article about the Seven Deadly Sins in Mobile Marketing. Sounds intriguing, one hopes it has some humor related to the sins, and it does not disappoint. But its so much more. Its a perfect 'do not do' list of very likely the seven most common mistakes of mobile apps and services of any kind, not just mobile advertising and marketing. It is written by Oliver Newton of i-Level and its posted at the U Talk Marketing site. Each sin includes real examples to illustrate. Let me give you a taster:
Gluttony - following the fad
Brands sometimes find it difficult to resist the smorgasbord of opportunity available through mobile platforms. Just because you can try everything, it doesn't necessarily mean you should. Like any other media channel, it is important to understand why you are connecting with your audience and use the best approach. The Zara iPhone app can be considered gluttonous. It is difficult to determine the purpose it serves, as there is no real product information available, store locator or option to add products to a wish list. Engagement with the brand and products is limited.
Cool, eh? He does this for every one of the seven deadly sins with real world mobile examples we can all relate to. Brilliant reading for anyone in mobile marketing, advertising, or service development (or app development). And talking of apps...
Then I saw a tweet my my dear friend Chetan Sharma. A true giant of the industry, author of many books the latest of which is Wireless Broadband. Chetan if anyone knows about mobile apps and services, so when he suggests to read an article that is entitled "App is crap (why Apple is bad for your health)" - then he really knows what he is talking about and this article should be good. And it is. Its by successful mobile entrepreneur-turned VC by the name of Mark Suster at the Both Sides of the Table blog.
Mark sees the reality of the business opportunity out of developing Apps in general, and in particular how apps for Apple's iPhone in particular would be exceptionally bad for developers - and the industry. He knows what he is talking about, he's built companies that experienced exactly the same situations then as Apple's 'magical' iPhone App opportunity seems to offer now. This is a very cautionary and insightful article. Very very thought-provoking. Mark Suster lists the early problems as:
- Every developer now has to have an iPhone development team.
- Every application has to be submitted to Apple for approval. They are now a bottleneck. When you change an application it has to be resubmitted – however minor the change.
- Apple is the new “gateway” that can extract a toll from you (sound familiar?). Apple wants to take a major share of the revenue.
- Data within the applications is locked into the device
- Flash is not supported, which means that all assets you’ve developed for the Internet that work in Flash are worthless for this device
- Apple has sent out signals such as that they might like to own location-based mobile advertising. If you encroach on this territory they may stop you or blow you out. They may do this / they may not. They may encroach in other “interesting” areas. They may not.
- Approvals are a black box.
Yes, I said 'early problems' - the situation gets progressively worse over time, both for the developers and the industry. Go read that article if you have any interest in developing apps (or have already developed apps or are in the process of developing them). PLEASE, if I have any credibility with you, go read that article. I consider it the best-ever article written about mobile phone applications, it is that good, insightful, factual and relevant.