I read an article recently which included a new way of looking at the term “app.” The new definition could prove very valuable for the changing world of print and media related services. If your company is going to survive and prosper in this new world, then you may need to transform it into an app. Why? Apps are constantly being used and used again, and sometimes again and again, revised, changed, updated, rated, praised and condemned.
Look to your own shop as an app. What is new, old, needs to be discarded, needs to be removed, or needs to be added? What are your users (customers for those not familiar with the digital term “user”) saying about your app?
I have created and developed a number of apps, mostly for use in the sailing industry. When I introduced my first app, that app at the time captured a major part of the target market, but it got better.
When I started to receive reviews and ratings, I realized that as good as my app was, it was now becoming better and better based on the comments and reviews from the users. Actions and data entry that I felt were just great turned out—in some cases—to be not so great. Some actions needed a bit of polishing, and others shined on their own. Overall, about 30 percent of my original app changed, based on comments/reviews, and once I incorporated the changes, my sales increased by 40 percent.
If you think of your firm as an app, then you must be in a constant stage of beta testing—not only testing but improving and interacting with your user base. Do you have a user group? Think social networking is the user group? Wrong. And, yes, I have a better idea on how you can develop and install a customized user group of your very own (Psst! Call me, and we can talk).
Your new user group will gladly provide tips, suggestions, ideas, needs, skills and services just to make your “app” better. Little will they realize that by making your app better, you will gain new business and profit. Hah!
After all, we live in a world of constant change and diversification, as well as creative and innovative construction and destruction. We live in a world that innovates on everything (how many iPhone versions have been introduced, or Android’s?).
Thinking and positioning your enterprise like an app will also allow you to keep your skill set at the highest level, since you will not need to make a change based on your needs, you will make changes based on your users who instruct or suggest to you what changes to make.
Swimming in a sea of constant beta (thanks David Berkowitz and http://adage.com/article/digitalnext/cmo-s-indispensable-buddy-technologist/243094/?goback=.gde_2844_member_272052167) also allows you to change partners and add collaborators (if you follow this blog I am very big on collaboration). Perhaps from those interactions, you may find a new client, vertical sector, product, or service that will add to your profitability.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to get this project going. Standing still is really falling behind.
With respect to the 34th running of the America’s Cup, remember this famous quote regarding the early days of the America’s Cup event: “Your Majesty, there is no second.” There is no second place when attracting clients to your business.
A selfish plug
I have just completed a new book titled: "Guide to Integrated Print and Media Convergence."
The Print Provider’s Guide to Use, Sell, and Profit from Integrated Marketing and Emerging Technologies.
This book is being released by the Printing Industries of America. If you are interested in ordering a copy or copies, please contact me.