Thoughts about PDX Digital Marketing Series Q1 2012
Labeled under: Idea Journal
The PDX Digital Marketing Series is a quarterly meetup that brings in local digital marketing professionals to speak about current trends, challenges, and topics.
This quarter’s meetup featured mobile web and app professionals from Portland. They each took a segment of the hour-long presentation to discuss their company’s methodologies on mobile web and app solutions, as well as their personal principles or takes on projects.
There was also a ridiculous breakfast of lox, bagels, and coffee. I was all smiles.
Whether you’re a professional or student, or something in between (aren’t we all?), this quarterly presentation is worth the time. Read my notes, but also see what other attendees say by following on Twitter at #pdxdms.
Experiencing the presentation from the perspective of a content strategist led to some interesting highlights from all of the panel members.
Gene Ehrbar of <a href=”http://www.isitedesign.com/ target=”_blank”>ISITE Design</a> reminded us that when working with mobile web and app solutions, to focus on completing successful “transactions” among other things. This means actually getting the person using your app or solution to be happy that they did so, whether it’s buying something, learning a thing or two, or registering for something fun, etc.
He encouraged everyone to start small with an app. Do something basic. The next and advanced features typically follow, along with happy users with excitement and willingness to test and use them.
Take advantage of this iterative process. Don’t forget to plan ahead for it as well.
Jeanne Turner of what was formerly Small Society spoke swiftly about something that I hold dear to my heart– making people (users) happy with content. She briefly explained her computer human-interaction background and gave us a glimpse of her methodology. She encouraged great user research, identifying ways to be empathetic, and connecting these results with solutions and experiences that bring value to people.
In short, she prescribed the mantra of “happy users = good business.” With most successful web projects, it’s all about the people, is it not?
Marcelino Alvarez used to work for Wieden + Kennedy, but ventured out on his own to form Uncorked Studios. His client list is broad across the entire spectrum of businesses sizes. From EA, to Sprint, to even three-person startups, like Barbird. Regardless of client, Alvarez encouraged us to always be testing, testing, testing our solutions. Measuring and improving key features leads to influential and engaging mobile web and app experiences.
Remember: the goal is to serve the people who love you and what you do.
Lastly, Ben Storm of Knuckleheads reminded us that mobile web and app solutions are much more than making cool things. A business may be the first to put out an app of its kind. Without strong methodology and practices of improvement, their competitor can easily do the same. They might even do it better. Competitive lunch: eaten.
Storm recommended establishing clear goals for measurement and success with any mobile web or app project. This way, the businesses and professionals involved can work towards improving key features to get projects to the finish line and to achieve the all important “win.”
Breakfast for thought.
An interesting part of the discussion was near the end of the panel on the topic of enterprise apps.
Our clients and their customers aren’t the only people who can make the most of mobile web and app solutions. They aren’t just for marketing and communications. Enterprise-type apps are also a growing solution that’s helping improve life in the office, warehouse, workshop, kitchen table, or wherever you get stuff done and serve customers.
Enterprise-type solutions require similar user value methodologies as their consumer-facing siblings. They also require just as much content strategy, development, and maintenance. These challenges are different, and are refreshing in that the same solutions that inspire and inform consumers can also do the same within the workplace.
With less time spent on tasks we wish were simpler, we can spend more on bettering our businesses, ourselves, and bringing the most to the people who believe in us.