A few weeks ago, TechCrunch ran an excellent post called “The Future of Apps Should Be Better Apps.” In it, Anshu Sharma responds to the Wall Street Journal’s pitch that chatbots are going to replace apps with a resounding “No, not that easily.”
Sharma makes a solid point. It could be that we end up chatting with our phones more than tapping them. It could be that we transition to the mobile web, and we might even end up somewhere in between web and native apps.
But it won’t be the most hyped up or flashiest future that wins the day. It’ll be the solution that does the best job of solving the complex issues that apps have. That’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to happen as the result of small discoveries and a gradual movement towards more user-friendly computing.
We may be agnostic on “what comes next.” What we do know is that analytics is going to pave the way.
The ‘Gboard’ might the best example of mobile product execution that we’ve seen so far in 2016.
Released on May 12, Google’s new keyboard for iOS makes gifs, emojis, gesture typing, and Google search available right in your keyboard.
No longer do you have to waste precious seconds scrolling through to look for the right emoji to react with. Simply type in a descriptive word–“lol” for example–and select the suggested emoji. Or take your visual expressiveness to the next level and search for gifs, instead.
Gboard’s best feature, by far, is the ability to use Google’s native search without having to open a browser. Anything you’d use Google to search for, you can do straight from the keyboard. Not only that, you can save your results to Notes or share results via text message and email in the form of cards that highlight key information, much like Google’s Answer Box.
Let’s take a step back from features for a second.
Google understands very well how users navigate through mobile devices; and the Gboard is a prime example of a product that fully identifies an existing pain point of mobile users and executes on it.
If there was any doubt that 2016 was going to be the Year of the Bot, it was put to rest when Facebook and Microsoft both announced their plans to partner with and promote bot developers.
And they’re not alone. Everyone from Google to Amazon and Apple to Slack is making some play in this space, either by building out their own bots or creating incentives for bot developers to come to their platform.
There are a lot of big bets being put on this technology. Any time there’s this much money being thrown around, you need to be paying attention.
Unless you spent the last week in a coma, you won’t need me to tell you about the one thing on everyone’s mind that’s currently causing the Internet to implode: #LEMONADE.
On April 23, Beyoncé dropped her sixth solo album, accompanied by an hour-long conceptual film that premiered on HBO. In less than 24 hours, every major media outlet had some variation of “Beyoncé breaks the Internet with ‘Lemonade’” published. The New York Times even featured the release on the front page of the Sunday paper, above the fold. Anyone who was anyone had something to say about Queen Bey’s release; within less than 24 hours, the Internet was bursting with think pieces about feminism, racism, and lyric-by-lyric analyses of songs that seemed to reflect Beyoncé’s marital strife.
Setting aside the obvious–that Beyoncé is a goddess–the astute will note that in addition to her talent, her marketing game slays. She has been disrupting the album release cycle since 2013, when she dropped her fifth studio album without so much as a PR whisper.
Let’s be real. We can all learn a thing or two from Queen Bey. But the wildly hyperbolic reactions to Lemonade
and basically anything else she does ever is every product marketer’s dream come true. Here are three things we can learn about product marketing execution from Beyoncé and Lemonade:
- Building a loyal fanbase of brand evangelists is key
- Taking creative risks, both in terms of product and PR, pays off
- Launching bold marketing campaigns will set you apart from the crowd