by David Schwartz, CEO and Co-Founder, Analytical Path
You’re at the supermarket. As you go up and down the aisles you’re bombarded by an array of products in a range of colors, shapes, and sizes with all manner of messaging emblazoned on the packaging – “NEW & Improved” or “30% MORE!” Some are high above your heads out of sight garnering nary a glance and others at ankle level (great for the kids to see so they can call their parent’s attention to it, of course), while others sit comfortably at coveted eye level shelving for which companies pay high slotting fees. Then, at the end of the aisle as you turn the corner, are those at the end caps that are “featured” product. Finally, there are the small impulse-buy items you find at the cash register hoping to be thrown onto conveyor belt as the cashier rings up your purchases. In other words, tons of products are calling out to you to get your attention.
Now let’s transpose the whole visualization described above to yet another store, this one a virtual one – the app store. Like its real world counterpart there are thousands upon thousands of apps on the various apps stores, such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, the Amazon App store, and many others. In fact, there are well over 800,000 active apps on the Apple App Store alone with over 800 new apps released each day. And like their real world counterparts, digital products face many of the same challenges. Instead of shelves, end caps, and cash register point-of-sales, you have genres/categories, What’s Hot, What’s New, Featured, What We’re Playing, and row after row after row of newly released apps all vying for your attention. But unlike the diversity of boxes, canisters, bottles, bags and countless other shapes, colors and sizes you see as you walk the aisle, the most you’ll see of the app is the icon.
For most apps, however, the extent of their engagement with the prospective consumer is just a fleeting glimpse of their icon and that’s all. For a few lucky others that have somehow managed to catch your attention with their icon you then hopefully scan the description (and its platitudes), glimpse the screenshots, check out the price point (or in-app price points) and the ratings, then tap Install or Purchase.
To be sure, the prospects for the average app developer are not so good given the massive volume of apps that are available. It’s a deluge out there. And truth be told there is a great deal of dross out on the app store for sure, but there are many others that are solid, good apps at competitive prices (or free) that just don’t stand a chance of getting discovered. Though there are many things that an app developer can do to get the word out and foster discovery of its app on the store, there is one area that could use more refinement through engagement with prospective app consumers – pre-release market testing. This is where Analytical Path comes into the picture.
Analytical Path provides a Web browser-based platform that brings together the creators of apps to test market their apps’ creative features (the icons, screenshots, descriptions, app names, etc.) along with evaluators (anyone who is an app fan or app consumer) who express their opinions about them. For the app creators they gain valuable information that will help them better tailor and refine their apps’ marketing once they are ready for release – For instance, which icon catches your eye best? Which color and pattern looks most appealing? What app name is most memorable? And so on. For the evaluator, they become part of the creative process by sharing their opinions that developers can incorporate into the final product. Additionally, the evaluator can start an engagement with the developer of the app by keeping apprised of its progress through launch and beyond. Finally, evaluators can earn points through Analytical Path that they can accrue and redeem for awards, such as gift cards.
Which brings me to why I’m writing this blog post on Hot Mess Mom. At present we are actively seeking evaluators to sign up. Signing up is entirely free and you can do so here. There is nothing to download and all the evaluations are done through the Web browser. When you log into the site you will see a number of app evaluations currently open for you to check out. They typical evaluation takes about 5 to 7 minutes and combines 1 to 5 scale rating questions as well as open-ended comment sections, and for each evaluation of an app you perform you will earn 1 point. Additionally, if you refer a family member or friend and they sign up on Analytical Path, you will earn 1 point as well. You can then redeem your accrued points on the Points Store page for gift cards, which at present are iTunes Gift Cards but other types will soon be available.
So, please do take a moment to check out the site and sign up to be an Evaluator today. Then start checking out the various evaluations that are available. Please help us spread the word too as we hope to get as many evaluators as possible. If you have any questions about the Evaluator Program please do not hesitate to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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