Startup Masterclass: Best Practice in Mobile App Development and Marketing

Feb 2011: Best Practice in Mobile App Development and Marketing

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Following the BeMyApp hack weekend we hosted in November 2011, a number of those that took part suggested we run a preparatory event to help future participants make the most of their time over the next such weekend we host.

[/tab] [tab id=”2″][reveal title=”Antonio Mendes Pinto, CEO, Toze Labs” ]

Having graduated in IT & Software engineering Antonio worked for 2 years in consulting. This soon got pretty boring and he started developing and testing iPhone apps in order to find the winning formula. In May he launched his own business, TvShow Time, the app for TV show fans using all the learning he’s acquired when launching his previous 5 apps which all made the top 25 in the app store.

[/reveal][reveal title=”Simon Halberstam, Partner, Kingsley Napley LLP” ]

Simon is a partner in Kingsley Napley’s Corporate and Commercial team, specialising in IT / IP Law. In recent years both IP and IT have been evolving faster than the legal frameworks that regulate them, which makes an exciting but demanding area of law, as the conventional legal concepts are adapted to cope with new media and new concepts of intellectual property Simon is well known and highly respected in this complex field of law, and acts for IT providers, ISPs, Domain Name registrants and web designers. He also acts for users, providing legal advice to both the IBM Computer Users’ Association and SOCITM.

[/reveal][reveal title=”Ben Medlock, CTO, SwiftKey” ]

Dr Ben Medlock is the Co-founder and CTO of SwiftKey, one of the all-time best selling Android apps, and winner of the Mobile Premier Awards best app 2011. Ben’s team use cutting edge artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to enhance text entry on mobile devices. Ben developed his expertise in this area during eight years of computer science research, culminating in a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He has reviewed for a number of prominent academic journals, and he has multiple publications in ACL, the leading conference for research into applied natural language processing.

[/reveal][reveal title=”Ian Malone, Managing Director, We Are Apps” ]

Ian is the co-founder and Managing Director of We Are Apps. He has spent 14 years working in advertising and marketing agencies, focusing on digital communications since 2001. Before setting up We Are Apps he was the Digital Creative Director of one of the UK’s leading independent advertising agencies, creating campaigns for brands including Continental Airlines, Ford, HSBC, Royal Mail and Tesco to name a few. We Are Apps was set up to help brands and creative agencies integrate app marketing into their strategies by offering consultancy, design, development, promotion and ongoing analysis for mobile and social media applications.

[/reveal][/tab] [tab id=”3″]“Excellent talks all round, great topic variety.”
-Michael Nacos

“Great platform to pick up on nuggets from App Veterans!”
-Ameer Sameer Khan[/tab] [tab id=”4″]

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[accordion collapse=”yes”] [panel title=”Antonio Mendes Pinto, Toze Labs – Lessons Learned from Launching 5 Apps” ]

Before they started seeking investment for their latest app, Antonio and his team twent through five app launches to learn some valuable lessons and apply them to their final product. Antonio will share what he learned from those experiences and how his team went about reiterating their production processes.

Key Takeaways

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  • Don’t always reinvent the wheel – use others as inspiration
  • Use boosters to increase visibility – as a small startup they will often give you help for free
  • Work with blogs to market your app – ask the editor what kind of blogs their readers would use and tailor your narrative to appeal to their audience
  • Prioritize customer feedback and give a direct channel for this. Either build directly into app or make a feedback email clearly visible
  • Twitter and Facebook can be your greatest free marketing tools
  • Business models – Extremely difficult to generate revenue from advertising. In-app purchasing shows greater results
  • TIP: One time per year Apple will allow you to push out a release in a 1-2 day turnaround time. Use this wisely!

[/list][/panel] [/accordion][accordion collapse=”yes”] [panel title=”Simon Halberstam, Kingsley Napley LLP – Legal Concerns for the App Developer”]

Simon will talk through the things you absolutely must do when launching your app on the market place. He will also provide attendees with an eguide on the subject so you can make sure your app is well protected in the legal minefield.

Key Takeaways

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  • Copyright automatically belongs to you as the creator – use Royal Mail to post your idea to your self. E.g. screen grab your product and send it to yourself
  • You cannot own copyright for an idea but the expression of that idea is what you can own
  • To save money when registering a TM – go direct to the TM agent, pick your region & classes carefully, be descriptive if you can, otherwise be distinctive
  • Purchase all variations of your domain – if you don’t, someone else will
  • Always create T&Cs when working with a supplier
  • Always have some form of contract in place between you and a third party, whether that’s a fully signed contract or an email agreement

[/list][/panel] [/accordion][accordion collapse=”yes”] [panel title=”Ben Medlock, SwiftKey – Using Apps to take on Big Business” ]

App stores provide an unprecedented opportunity for small businesses to deliver software to key decision makers in major organizations, as well as offering an affordable way to gain valuable and independent market feedback. Ben will share the story that led to SwiftKey becoming one of the leading paid Android apps in several markets.

Key Takeaways

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  • Before beginning any project you must have a clear conviction to work form – it should drive the development of your app
  • A consumer story gives your product genuine credibility
  • As soon as you start gaining product momentum don’t lose, its hard to gain momentum twice
  • Approach blogs and ask them for users that may want to test your product
  • Influence the tech press early on – they are the people that influence awards further down the line
  • Try and get all downloads of your app to occur in a 2 day period – you have to create that spike & build momentum
  • Look for publications that have quick release cycles – they will be desperate for content and an easy PR target

[/list][/panel] [/accordion][accordion collapse=”yes”] [panel title=”Ian Malone, We Are Apps – How to Produce a Successful App: 10 Key Insights”]

We Are Apps is a leading developer of mobile and social media apps, in the past year gathering awards and accolades including ‘100 Greatest Apps Ever’ by Apps Magazine and featuring in the recent Sunday Times’ Best Apps in the World list. Ian will share the process his team goes through to produce such successful apps, something they have trialed over time and, if there’s time, run through a case study of these 10 key insights in action.

Key Takeaways

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  • Always remember – your app is a product
  • Start small, but well. Learn & iterate
  • Take time to plan, it will save you money later down the line
  • Bad rankings in the App store take a long time to lose their impact on your rating – you can’t afford to ever appear flawed to your potential customers
  • React quickly to any complaints – good management could them into advocates
  • Create an equal contract between all partners. Contracts must offer:
      -Warranty period (90 days)
      -Indemnities & insurance
      -IP transfer or licence in perpetuity
  • The popularity of your app will depend 10% on the app & 90% on how you market it
  • Use Free App a Day services to drive numbers – but pick the right one
  • Look at other apps for tips on how to describe /sell your app in the App Store

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