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Washington Post exec: App discoverability is a big challenge

NEW ORLEANS ? A Washington Post executive at the International CITA Wireless 2012 conference said that it is a constant challenge for marketers to keep their mobile applications exposed and in the forefront for their users. 

During the ?Apps @ Play: The Next Level of Mobile Entertainment? session, panels discussed key strategies for developing innovative and user-centric mobile experiences. The panel was moderated by Linda Barrabee, research director of connected intelligence at NDP Group.

?Discoverability is hard,? said Beth Jacobs, general manager of mobile at The Washington Post.

?If you want to be on iOS you have to be there,? she said. ?From a publisher perspective, it?s a one-two punch. 

?You have to think smartly and wisely and see how you will capture a broader audience.?

All about discovery 
there is no marketer out there that is not rolling out a mobile app.

While mobile apps present a great opportunity for marketers to engage with consumers, it is also very hard for companies to get their apps noticed.

Discoverability is a huge issue in the mobile app space.

Marketers must remember that the first interaction the user has with the app is the most important one.

?This is an app they want to interact with on a daily basis,? Ms. Jacobs said.

The evolution of the mobile app world has clearly evolved over the past couple of years.

It is important for marketers to think about what platform they want to roll out their app in and whether their target consumer is on that platform.

According to Rohan Chandra, executive director of AT&T Interactive, it is important for marketers to be strategic when it comes to their mobile application strategies.

For example, if a majority of a company?s target consumers own iOS devices, than that is the platform that they must first roll out.

Marketers should also make sure that they are on as many platforms as possible to reach a broader audience.

Mobile games
According to Chris Dury, CEO of GetJar, mobile games are leading the pack in terms of the overall user experience.

Currently, mobile games thrive in the app stores.

For example, Rovio?s Angry Birds changed the way users interact with their mobile devices.

Rovio?s mobile-first strategy is paving the way and showing other marketers that the channel is ideal to not only drive user engagement, but have consumers continually come back to the mobile app.

Additionally, OMGPOP?s Draw Something became an instant hit overnight.   

?We?re far beyond anything I ever imagined,? Mr. Dury said. ?If you focus on the user experience you will get to the top."

Overall content
One thing that marketers must remember is that it is all about creating a curated experience for consumers.

?A curated experience is a way to drive app discoverability,? said Claudia Romanini, director of developer relations at Barnes and Noble.

?There?s a lot of innovative things that we can find the in the traditional world that can bridge the discovery in the digital world,? she said. 

Final Take