10-05-10

iPhones Are Less Than 10%, But They Matter...



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A major point of discussion with TigerSpike clients these days - especially those with smaller budgets - is the best strategy for mobile apps.
In this article Luke shares the advice he has been giving his clients about why apps are important, and which platforms are key.  Imagine a community with 50 bicycles and 1,000 cars in it (i.e. 5% bicycles). It is logical to put up a billboard next to the community highway rather than next to the community cycle path right? Maybe not. And here is why.
Usage
What if each cyclist uses the cycle path 20 times per day, and each car only uses the road once a week. Over the year the cycle path billboard gets 365,000 views, and the road billboard only gets 52,000 views.
Usability
Now imagine that the billboard on the road is so high that only cars that are convertible can read it, and only 50% of cars are convertible. Now you only have 26,000 views.
The mistake that so many people make – usually agencies I have to say – is that they say “well only 7% of people have iPhones: we don’t want to only reach 7% we want to reach the other 93% as well”.
The problem is you can’t reach those people. The other 97% are only using their phones for calls and SMS; not for browsing the web. So there is no point trying to reach them. You can’t. They are like people who have cars but never drive them, so they will never see your billboard.
What to do
50% of all traffic is from smart phones, and more than half of that is from iPhone and iPod*, so if you have scarce marketing dollars and no mobile strategy yet, just do the following (in this order):
  • Build an iPhone app.
  • Promote the iPhone app (via other iPhone apps).
  • Build a mobile site optimised for high end devices. Forget about the low end ones.
  • Promote the mobile site (via mobile media).
  • Build an Android app (save money by using the same functional specifications and designs as you did for the iPhone app).
  • Promote the Android app.
  • Tie it all together with messaging!
And if you were really thinking ahead you would gather all the interactions and learn about the behavior of the people interacting, and then work out how to do things better and better. Luke Janssen is the Founder and CEO of TigerSpike
*Bear in mind that this is the case for the USA and UK markets. In India and Indonesia, which are the number 2 and 4 in terms of total mobile browsing, the handset markets are dominated by Nokia. And when I say dominated, I mean the top 10 handsets in each of those markets are Nokia.

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