Effectively monetizing a software installation requires at least these four things:
Keen Insight into Customer Needs – Knowing what your customers need is step one. The design phase is often concerned with market analysis and creating a product that solves a need.
An App that Meets those Needs – The right app will address the needs of a target audience.
Effective Monetization – Monetization, whether it is based on ads, in-app purchases, or another model, is essential to developing a sustainable business.
A Marketing Plan that Communicates Value to Customers – Effectively monetizing an app means that you first have to communicate your app’s value to your customers.
All of the above points are interdependent and rely on one another. But before you can begin designing, monetizing, and marketing, it is vital to understand what your customers need and want from you.
Playstation 4, one of the world’s most popular video game consoles, has a YouTube video which provides keen insight into the mind of today’s customer.
Though the video isn’t intended as a lesson in consumer psychology, within the first 30 seconds we are given a useful set of guidelines that provide useful insight into the mind of the modern consumer. Hint: watch for the parachutes.
In the video, the word “elegant” is used to describe designs that are simple, yet offer “deeper,” more complex experiences.
The simpler something is to use, the easier it is to understand, use, and spread. For instance, who would have thought that an app as simple as Yo would ever become popular?
But it did, partly due to the simplicity of the app’s design. As we mentioned in our article on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, simplicity is one vital element to successful marketing. Simplicity also increases usability, and should be incorporated in everything from user interface design to the overall app design. Complexity, on the other hand, puts users off, increases frustration, and accumulates the cognitive load.
Personalization is the key to a successful marketing campaign. Amazon uses personalized recommendations to increase conversions, Netflix keeps you watching longer with personalized channels, and Playstation 4 presents preferred content to you in a way that is personal and unique.
Marketers frequently emphasize personalization in terms of marketing and advertising, since they increase user engagement. Relevant, useful content keeps people engaged, so the more personalized an app is, the more engaging it will be and the more a developer will be able to successfully monetize that app.
Why go to the store to buy a disc when you can download a game in seconds? Playstation 4, as well as companies such as Blizzard, goes so far as to create a smart installer that allows you to play the game as it is downloading. These techniques respond to players’ desire for instant gratification.
Apps should also be designed with immediacy in mind. The more immediately you gratify your users’ needs, the more likely they are to stay engaged, and the more likely you are to earn money from your monetization strategy, whether you employ the freemium model or in-app ads.
The internet is becoming more and more integrated, as we can see from upcoming operating systems, such as Windows 10. The Playstation 4 is already employing an integrated approach to console gaming, by creating integrated gaming experiences “that follow you everywhere that you go.” In a connected world, every device will simply be another portal to the online world.
In other words, rather than thinking of “the mobile web” or “a mobile app,” for example, think of apps that are accessible via mobile, desktop, or other devices. Developing apps that can reach customers on multiple devices will only give you that much more reach. To take advantage of this interconnected world, app developers may want to begin targeting operating systems rather than specific devices.
By integrating social features directly into the console – in the form of the “share” button on the controller – Playstation 4 has created a social platform specifically for gamers. Social networks have taught us how powerful social media can be when it comes to apps.
So if you’re a developer monetizing a software installation, including a social function in your app design can only enhance your monetization potential. If your app doesn’t warrant the inclusion of a social platform, then integrate as much as possible with social networks so you can take advantage of social media. The more people talk about your product, the less you have to do your own marketing.
Despite the fact that the Playstation 4 is a video gaming console, any app developer can learn from Sony’s design and marketing approach. These 5 points provide excellent insight into the mind of the modern consumer. And any developer can learn from them to make more money from their software installation or app, regardless of the device.