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What to do when the latest mobile app trend happens?


What to do when the latest mobile app trend happens?

Ben Roodman January 25, 2013

Twitter acquired X Startup, facebook copied Startup feature Y, Apple iOS rumors, and Startup Z is going to be the hot new thing at SXSW, now what?

Don’t panic and don’t have a sense of mobile fear of missing out [#FOMO]. Who tweeted about it first only has relevance to a select few in the early adopter crowd and no one is keeping score.

Step 1) Ask “What is it?”
If you’re reading about a mobile trend on TechCrunch or Mashable, you are not the only person asking “What am I reading about?” If it’s a new technology, it has probably been in a development phase for at least the previous six months. There is a lag time between concept and implementation, but that lead time is shorter han ever.

Step 2) Ask “What problem are they trying to solve?”
Most launches are evolutionary and attempt to be disruptive to existing offers. Examples from what the mobile trend is trying to solve typically can even have an analogous late 90s dot com reference. We’ve been talking about location based coupons while passing Starbucks for the last 15 years. New services mobile features Apple’s Passbook and Google Wallet make this concept integrated with payments + mobile ads.

Step 3) Is it a fad or a trend line?
Startups wanting to be the Instagram of video added enormous traction in a very short time span, but the viral tactics used where no more than a passing fad. Mobile video has been recreated and recreated in many different forms. If mobile video or a latest launch fits within a mobile marketing trend for your business, then it’s time to consider asking for a research budget.

Step 4) Try it!
Download the app, upgrade your phone’s OS, or ask for a mobile product demo. Think about the user experience and how you’re supposed to interact with a new mobile feature. Does the flow make sense and is it simpler than previous solutions? Usually when one company launches, another one is not far behind, giving you an opportunity to try out several different options. Don’t rely solely on your advertising agency to bubble up the latest trends for you to try. From a latest trend to the first mobile marketing big splash, big ad agencies are not going to be the first to bring new technologies to market.

Lastly, Step 5) Be open to opportunity.
If you tried it out and think it fits within a trend of business objectives, consider if there is an opportunity to associate this new feature with your mobile business. See: How Customers are Being Trained to Use Mobile Services for examples of how Starbucks and eBay are reinventing themselves in the mobility era by including the latest mobile technology trends. Reach out to your agency, put your interns on it, and treat the project like a science experiment. Measure what works for your business and if you’re seeing increased conversions around your business objectives.

As always, continue reading MobileFOMO where we’ll help you continue to separate the trends from the fads for your mobile marketing business.

Ben Roodman

Benjamin Roodman
Senior Contributing Editor
Benjamin Roodman is an advocate for getting to the truth of what converts in mobile. Well versed in mobile advertising platforms with a notable aptitude and passion for analytics, he's currently putting deals together as head of partnerships at a mobile data startup. Benjamin has previously held Business Development positions at AOL Advertising and helped establish several funded location-based consumer startups.
Follow me on twitter @BRoodman

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