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Musicnotes.com builds mobile success via minimum viable product testing

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Musicnotes.com, a leading digital sheet music retailer and publisher, continues to surpass download milestones by establishing and delivering personalized, relevant content on its mobile applications.

The key to acquiring mobile consumers is respecting their time. In terms of app usage, users want to browse and interact with content in a way that prioritizes experiences, enabling them to glean information quickly. Musicnotes.com understands that customers shop differently and want different products and through developing a minimum viable product has been able to accurately pinpoint what products and services it can build a sustainable business around.

“When you are looking at your marketing or ecommerce you have to step back and think about the basics: What is your value proposition? What is it you are trying to give your customers? Why are they coming to your site? Are you bringing in the right people? And do your message and acquisition opportunities match together?” said Bill Aicher, chief growth officer of Musicnotes.com.

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“Stop and look at super segmented things to determine if you are doing the right thing at the core of your efforts.”

New Tune
The Musicnote Sheet Viewer apps for iOS and Android feature a portable sheet music library that allows mobile all-in-one place access to music scans and PDFs, allowing musicians to do anything they would want to do with printed music, but without the problems inherent in using paper as a medium.


IPad app

The apps provide customers the ability to interact with their sheet music by synchronizing it with their account.


Sync libraries

Once songs are downloaded to a device, musicians are able to access their archives even without internet connection. They can also mark up their notation, instantly change keys to something more suited to their range and abilities and even put songs together into one continuous playlist to make performing easier.


Change keys

The year 2012 was a strong one for Musicnotes Inc. and the online sheet music retailer and publisher reached milestone for downloads early in 2013. Total 2012 sales increased 23 percent, from $15.2 million in 2011, to $18.7 million. Mr. Aicher noted that sales of digital downloads, loyalty club memberships and paid mobile apps all contributed to 2012 growth.


Digitally mark up music

The growth of mobile device use directly contributed to the retailer’s sales upswing, who recognized that mobility presented new opportunities. In 2012 the company rolled out Musicnotes Anywhere, a package of software and mobile apps that enable customers to access sheet music from multiple mobile devices and was accompanied by Musicnotes.com’s first video advertising campaign that also launched that fall.

Setting up for success
E stablished before the digital boom in technology, Musicnotes borrowed the concept of the MVP SPELL OUT MVP to more quickly bring successful products to market as its landscape and customer demands changed.

The lean team found itself being challenged to keep up with the level of disruption coming out of startups. As opposed to the old form of market research which consisted of studying and guessed what customers wanted, building a minimum viable product has become the most capital efficient way to innovate. Businesses build something in the smallest amount possible, and put it in front of customers to get honest feedback.

Another example of a product that came out of a minimum viable product is PBS. When it decided its digital media division would play in the interactive media space, it became focused on building rapid prototypes and putting them into the hands of customers, then allowing their feedback to influence the direction of the products themselves. It started with a couple of small platforms, and over time, has expanded its portfolio to become a suite of products — like its iPad and iPhone apps, or even its website. A lot of the different media streaming services it provides were incubated out of that methodology: starting with something put in front of customers, iterating, and growing it over time.

“You need to continually access your marketing goals, step back, look at things more simply again and make sure what you are doing makes sense,” Mr. Aicher said.

“Build your team around the goals, make sure you have the right team in place and leverage your technology and relationships for smarter marketing.”

 Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

Michelle Saettler is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at michelle@mobilemarketer.com.

 
Related content: Strategy, mvp, musicnotes.com, minimal viable product, app

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