3 Ways to Prevent ‘Failure to Launch’

 In Blog, Communication

Have you ever seen a product and wondered who on earth thought it was a good idea?? There are some classic product launches that have ended in failure like New Coke, or the Chevy Nova being released in Mexico. One of my favorite examples is Clairol’s  “A Touch of Yogurt” Shampoo. Nothing gives you that clean feeling like washing your hair with a semi-solid sourish food prepared from milk and fermented by adding bacteria. Yum. Before you run out to pick some up, I have some bad news; it is no longer being made. One issue they experienced was people eating the product and becoming violently ill. Perhaps not the smartest segment of their buyers…

This product failed because of one of the most common mistakes; they didn’t understand their audience and what their audience’s needs were.  If you don’t know who is going to use your product or how it solves a problem or meets a need they have, you run the risk of spending time developing something that will never get off the ground.

Developing a mobile application is no different. At Aware3, we have created hundreds of customized mobile apps and the people that have had the most success have followed these four important principles:

Know Your Users

Your congregation is unique. You know the culture of your people and your town. Is your church made up of commuters who are spread out in a wide area and have a hard time staying connected to each other?  Do you have a larger group of young believers who would benefit from having additional Bible study resources throughout the week? Is your church tech savvy and would embrace a mobile app right away or are they going to need more encouragement to engage on their phone? By asking the right questions, you can identify the challenges your people face in staying connected to the church, its mission, and one another. Begin with building a plan that solves these needs or issues.

Begin with Their Needs

The second step to a successful launch of your mobile app is adoption. How will you release, communicate and encourage people to download and install your mobile app? If your app is customized to meet the needs of your unique community, you will have a much higher rate of adoption. Users of your app should experience benefits right away. Is VBS registration starting next month? Let people sign up within their app instead of waiting in line after church or printing out a form and dropping it off at the church office.  The question you should be asking is not ‘How can the church benefit from the app’ but instead ‘How can we provide real value to our community with the app’. If you launch with this mindset, you will have a much higher adoption and retention rate of users. Adoption and retention will translate into value for the church in a variety of ways, but start with the user’s needs first.

Make it Your Own

Your app should feel like you. You put care and thought into making someone’s first first visit to your church a good experience. Visiting you on-line should feel the same way and should reinforce who you are and what you care about. If your app is customized and branded for your specific church it will make it much easier for people to find and download. Your mobile app is your digital front door and you want people to be able to get a feel for who you are every time they visit; whether online or in person.

Development is Ongoing

When you build a mobile app, some things will connect and some things will miss. You may be surprised by the things that resonate with your users and the things that don’t get traction. By using analytics, you can learn what your users are doing on your app and continue to improve the experience. One great way to keep users engaged is by providing fresh content and experiences on your app.  By requesting feedback and implementing new tools in your online experience, you can grow connection and engagement.

           How are you using technology to engage and connect with                        people in your church?