As long as mobile marketing continues to rise, applications will persist to increase in popularity. Small business consultant Ryan Dohrn (founder of Brain Swell Media and 360 Ad Sales) has a mixed clientele of publishers in virtually every stage of business. He often finds that some of his clients are interested in app creation because they dont want to be left out of the online market. In a marketplace condensed with thousands of cheap and even free applications, Dohrn believes that one should only design an app if the creation adds another dimension to one’s success. In this weeks Shweiki Media webinar, he lays out strategies for designing an app efficient for consumer use and proficient in publication prosperity.
or Click here to download the audio podcast of this presentation.
Designing an App for Success
When debating whether or not one should design an app for their business, Dohrn suggests utilizing a SWOT analysis sheet for insight. By laying out all of one’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, one can clearly map out all advantages and disadvantages an app implementation might bring about (similar to a hyper-detailed pros and cons list).
The first thing Dohrn does when evaluating strengths is runs a “magazines” search through the iTunes app store. He scrolls through multiple magazine applications, seeking out both good and bad aspects of what they have to offer.”What you really want to do, is consider right up front- what is it that your going to do to make your magazine stand out from the rest. What are you going to do in terms of an app, to make the magazine experience so much better?”
Dohrn suggests building a list of all the things that one already does better than their competition in their printed edition. Once one has a clear vision of their strengths, they should design their proposed app featuring those leveraging points to boost the viewer experience.
“Where are the areas that potentially in print you are weak, and that an app can make you stronger?” When one fully understands their weaknesses, they can diminish them by building an app highlighting new and fun ideas. Whether it’s interactive games, surveys, or previously unseen video, to create an app from a weakness perspective is to “change the conversation” from something a publisher once lacked, to an updated model viewers can get excited about.
Another technique for application success that Dohrn recommends is running a search for top paid apps in one’s industry. Once one distinguishes the points of success that a certain app might promote, they can use websites such as The App Builder to create a free version of the app themselves. This could potentially become a viable option for those without major strength or weakness value.
Continuing with the SWAT theme, Dohrn summarizes the threats section as any competitor aspect of their application that one couldn’t supply to their own readers. He combats these threats by employing the use of surveys to sell backwards (or start with the end experience, then design the app back-to-front.) Dohrn is quick to exclaim that if one finds that they can’t out leverage their competitors with an application design, maybe it’s best if that publisher looks for other forums to highlight their quality aspects.