Too many apps

Is this app-mageddon?

By | advertising, digital media, Food for thought, trends

app namesIs there such a thing as too many apps?

How many is too many? When will it all end? Is app-mageddon on the way? And in the meantime is your sanity being fragmented by too much choice?!

These are all important questions.

According to TechCrunch “Apps have become the new crack” and they’re not exaggerating. Consumers reach for their mobile phones more than one hundred times each day, based on data from Forrester Research.

There’s apps for everything… from fitness to therapy and everything in-between. It’s now literally impossible to get through a whole day without needing to use an app or ten (there will be exceptions of course… when you’re under general anesthetic for example).

Technology forces change. Sometimes that’s a great thing – for efficiency, productivity, improved customer service… just as long as it doesn’t feel more like Big Brother bullying than progress, “Order with your app or NO SOUP FOR YOU!” (Seinfeld)

Apps create an internal love-hate relationship for some of us. Who hasn’t been drawn to the ‘dark side’ and found hours have slipped away while scrolling, updating, reading or just ‘being in’ your collection of apps? There’s no doubt it can erode your experience of real life if you let it get out of hand… (and there’s no doubt your husband can tell you off for not paying him enough attention and looking at cute dog pics on Instagram instead… just a hypothetical example).

But what’s considered ‘out of hand’? And what if this IS now ‘real life’? Argh!

Too many appsAccording to research by Nielsen, the average smartphone user accesses 26.7 apps per month. And that’s only on their phones… that doesn’t include tablets, web apps, smart watches and the ‘internet of things’! I always knew I was above average!

They also spend 37 hours and 28 minutes using these apps. That’s more than the official working week in France! And that number is growing – in 2012 it was ‘only’ 23 hours and 2 minutes.

But, it’s a fine line between pleasure and pain (Divinyls) . Having welcomed app technology with open arms, users are now beginning opt out.

“In some product categories, over 60% of their users turn off push notifications.” (Andrew Chen)

Too many notifications, too many interruptions, too many updates required, using too much battery… literally turning a phone into anything but a phone – more like an app monster, chomping away on what’s left of your ‘real life’.

Apparently, it’s bad news for app developers too … (should I re-think App Academy then?)

A survey of 10,000 app developers reveals a grim reality: based on the stats, your app will almost certainly not succeed. Standing out in such a crowded market was always going to be a challenge, but really… just 2 percent of all app developers pull in over 50 percent of all app revenue – 2%!!

“The revenue distribution is so heavily skewed towards the top that just 1.6% of developers make multiples of the other 98.4% combined. A staggering 47% of app developers either make literally no money, or less than $100 per month, per app.” (Valleywag)

As with everything in life, change really is the only constant and we must ‘adapt or die’! So at least we know that whatever tech headaches we have now, in two years time they will be gone… or at least, replaced with something else 😉

“The idea of having a screen full of icons, representing independent apps, that need to be opened to experience them, is making less and less sense. The idea that these apps sit in the background, pushing content into a central experience, is making more and more sense.” (Intercom)




Why word of mouth is still best

By | advertising, Brand Strategy, trends

Since the dawn of time, word of mouth has been, and continues to be, the best form of advertising.

It may come as a surprise, but despite all our advances in technology and communication, word of mouth is still the best way to get your message out. How come? A few simple reasons:

  • It’s pre-filtered: Usually your social circle is made up of people who are like-minded, with similar values. This means that when they think something is good, you don’t need to question the basis on which they have decided that – you already know they have similar standards and expectations.
    Your friends will also tend to mention things that relate to you and your circumstances. So unless they miss all the social cues, they won’t recommend an amazing place to buy a diamond ring if you’ve just lost your job.
  • It’s free: Aside from the obvious costs of creating a great customer experience in the first place, getting those happy customers to tell their friends comes at no additional cost to you, the business.
  • It’s interactive: Unlike a one-way advertisement, whether in print or digital, hearing about some great new product from your mates is a two-way conversation. You can clarify when, where and how much. You can ask for details they might not have volunteered in the first instance.
  • It has no expiry date: Once people have a really good (or really bad!) experience, they tend to keep talking about it whenever the subject arises. Know the best place for cinnamon donuts? “Yeah I went to this place 6 months ago but I’m sure it’s still amazing…”
  • It’s a trusted source: Your friends won’t usually try and trick you into trying something new (unless you’ve done something to deserve it!) so there’s no chance that when they say “these are the best runners I’ve ever owned” that they really meant “these runners fell apart after 3 weeks”.

So if you focus on creating great products and great experiences, people will talk. And talking is what you want them to do. Yes, you still need an integrated marketing strategy, a strong digital presence and a frequent review of your objectives; but when it comes down to it, how much you impress customers will remain a great baseline measure of success.



Halcyon Creative