Value is a complicated concept. In business, the value of a purchase or an initiative can be expressed in literal terms, or considered in a much broader, almost philosophical sense. When business people talk about “getting value from an investment”, they might first consider the primary economic value – for every Euro, Pound, or Dollar spent, how much directly attributable revenue (or cost saving) might be achieved? What is the direct return on investment?
Assuming you’re a content publisher of one form or another – when looking to extract more value from your app infrastructure, you’ll need to know what that infrastructure is actually comprised of, how well it’s being utilised, and what value it’s delivering now.
Any discovery project will need to be unique to your organisation, but the guiding principles are the same: Get under the hood, find what’s working, what people are (and aren’t) using, what consumers want, and where there are opportunities to widen the reach of your investment.
Who benefits, and perhaps more importantly, who could benefit from apps? Look inside and outside your organisation – from departments such as Marketing and HR, to customers, suppliers, investors and more.
List departmental content outputs and channels
What content is your organisation creating now? Media organisations might be creating news articles or documentary feature videos, B2C companies might be more focused on glossy content marketing, all the way to staff surveys, training material, investor relations literature, product manuals, and everything in between – find out who’s creating it, and what channels they’re using to distribute it.
Map business processes
Whether consciously or not – for content of any form (including everything from financial reports, to training material, video, audio, and more) to make it from idea to reality – some sort of process is being followed. Who’s writing the copy? Who’s laying it out? Who’s responsible for QA? Understand and document these processes. This will help you diagnose bottlenecks or inefficiencies.
Don’t forget that value is subjective, so seek colleague and customer opinions. Are content creators utilizing technology to deliver outstanding content experiences? Are managers happy? What do content consumers think? Are line-of-business professionals looking for ways to monetise their content, and are they servicing all the channels they need to?
Searching for Value
As we’ve discussed, value comes in many shapes and sizes, so it’s important to assess your specific organisation’s needs using a comprehensive discovery exercise. That said, when it comes to maximising your app infrastructure, having helped organisations large and small to understand their own content challenges, we can certainly offer the benefit of our experience.
1. Apps offer enhanced value by default
It’s an undisputed fact that people like apps – 93% of smartphone owners use them. As staff, business customers, and consumers become increasingly mobile, their preference for mobile content also increases – some can only be reached via mobile! This, combined with the familiar navigation and enhanced features offered by apps, make them a surefire way to improve customer experiences. Consequently, improved customer experiences deliver value directly, with higher conversion rates, dwell times, and general engagement.
2. App infrastructure facilitates business processes
Specialist content publishing platforms such as DX’ enable integrated, automated, content production workflows. Simplifying and streamlining the content process from start to finish delivers value by reducing cost, freeing up resources, and allowing staff to do what they do best; create content, design, strategise, and more.
3. Business to Employee – B2E
Especially within media organisations and marketing departments, apps are often deployed with a single objective in mind – to serve the customer. But with relatively little investment, the same platform can be used to communicate with staff, delivering training, securing data, and enabling mobile workers in the modern BYOD environment. Value here comes from cost reductions, and increased staff engagement.
4. Rich Media & Enhanced Functionality
Whoever consumes your content, rich media – such as video, quizzes, podcasts, etc. – delivers better engagement. Enhanced functionality, such as content recommendations, location-based personalisation, and live chat can take this further still. More engaged consumers spend more and evangelise more.
5. Direct Revenue
Finally, apps can generate revenue in their own right. Have you considered creating a premium, paid-for content tier? Or perhaps featuring ads in your content? Both can offer tangible value – in the form of additional revenue, or even a new revenue stream entirely – even to existing apps.
Do More (with apps)!
In summary, as Casey Neistat’s maxim urges, “do more” with your app platform, but be clever about it. It’s actually relatively easy to extract additional value by involving colleagues, improving process, and identifying content outputs which can be delivered using apps.