In 1965, Gordon E. Moore, the co-founder of IBM, wrote a white paper observing that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every year. Moore went on to revise his hypothesis to every two years. Nowadays, technology taking two years to advance seems like a lifetime. Not a day goes by that we don’t hear about something new – and mobile is at the forefront of this innovation with a pioneering evolutionary curve. At a recent conference Sunny Byers, a Creative Account Executive at Google, shared that the future of mobile is changing every two weeks.
Every two weeks!
Top apps including Facebook, Pinterest, Etsy, and TripAdvisor are promising to update their apps every 2-6 weeks. In fact, the average cycle between updates for the top 25 iOS apps is around 30 days. Companies are moving away from the “ship when it’s done” attitude and towards a consistent cycle of short-term updates. If your organization has the capabilities, there are a number of benefits to switching to shorter update cycles. Pinterest moved to 3-week cycles last year, which has allowed the brand to test new ideas, jump on new opportunities and make tweaks to the app experience much more frequently.
So what does this all mean for brands and their mobile initiatives? If mobile is a primary channel for your business, it is vital to stress the importance of research and development, and invest in new technology and top talent.
But it’s not about R&D for the mere sake of it; the approach to research and development should be strategic in nature, pairing both technology and mobile behaviours to uncover opportunities that will result in value and convenience to the end user.
Take for example Remote Deposit, an app feature that allows users to easily deposit cheques to their bank accounts and is offered by almost every bank. The photo recognition software has been around for a number of years, but it was not until 2009 that USAA became the first bank to offer the service to its mobile customers. The bank recognized that the process of depositing a cheque was both a hassle and an inconvenience for the customers. Leveraging this insight, USAA invested a substantial amount of time and money into the development and implementation of an app feature- remote deposit- that offered convenience to the end user.
In other words, USAA didn’t wait for the technology to come to them but utilized existing capabilities with smart thinking – ultimately succeeding in a crowded marketplace and helping them maintain their impressive 98% retention rate.
Allow innovation to help solve problems and meet the needs of consumers – and gain a competitive advantage by being quicker to market.
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