Native Insights #2: Buzinga Interview
Welcome to the second installment of our PubNative Interview Series. It’s been a while since our last interview but we’re coming back strong with lots of exciting insights from thought leaders in native advertising, app development and mobile ad tech space in the coming months.
To kick off this resurrection we spoke to Logan Merrick, Co-Founder, and Director of Buzinga, an Australian app development company who are working closely with innovative enterprises and startups.
Can you briefly introduce Buzinga and what you do?
We build world-class mobile and web applications, IoT and wearable devices and offer mobile consulting services.
Essentially Buzinga is a platform for creating and launching innovative ideas – both in the corporate and startup world.
Our aim is to help innovators build technology that changes the system, not adds to it. We provide a plethora of education to enable our clients including a how-to driven blog, a podcast, various e-books guides, and events.
What is the state of the app industry in Australia?
The app industry has exploded in the last couple of years in Australia – this is well timed with the ‘rise of the startup’ in innovation hubs like Melbourne and Sydney.
The apps we are building in 2016 aren’t games or novelty apps like they were pre-2015. They are system-changing ideas that are truly making waves in their respective markets.
Australia is the ideal testing ground for launching mobile apps. With a multicultural society and a smaller population, it allows us to make fast changes and iterations based on feedback easy to execute as the user-base isn’t in the millions.
What are your main considerations when building an app? And how does app monetization factor into these considerations?
We have a really robust set of processes we use when building, launching and maintaining an app. The key considerations are product design, user experience and delivering an app on time and on budget. At Buzinga we launch a Minimum Viable Product first, collect data from real users to see where the app can be optimized, and then release updates based directly from this data.
Obviously, for an app monetization model to be effective, it needs to be completely seamless and non-intrusive to the user experience. That’s why we advocate implementing a monetization model on the back of that juicy data on user behavior that’s just been collected from version 1. You can see how users flow through your app, what features they use the most, and then tweak the app to fit around what you’ve identified as the best-suited monetization model.
Do you think the development of mobile native advertising has changed app monetization?
Absolutely – if anything, it’s raised the bar on what app monetization needs to offer to be effective in such a saturated market!
Every year we see app users become more and more sensitive to monetization in apps. If you can’t provide well-timed, non-intrusive and relevant advertising to the user, you’ll quickly find your users annoyed and drop off.
The good news is that there is so much choice available to app developers in 2016 to not only choose ‘off the shelf’ monetization models like freemium, pay to download, etc, but also blend and adapt monetization models to craft their perfect stream of revenue. That’s why I think we’ll only see more native advertising in the future, and more creative applications of it too.
I’ve been really interested to watch how Snapchat is experimenting with different kinds of native advertising to create a monetization method that is truly unique and tailored to their users. I’m expecting more of this from my other favorite apps in the next year.
What do you see as the benefits of using native ads vs traditional ad formats in mobile apps?
Basically, traditional ads interrupt the user’s experience, while native ads enhance it.
To me, the biggest advantage of native ads is that they have the potential to be so much more valuable to the user.
Traditional ad formats like banner ads and pop-ups just don’t work with a lot of apps being built today, because they’re not useful. Native ads have the potential to go viral. If the content is good enough, people will engage.
We know that app users aren’t averse to advertising, they’re just averse to sticking with apps that abuse the privilege of having them in the app in the first place!
How do you envisage the future of the app industry? And how do you think app monetization will advance?
In the near future, apps will be all about wearables and IoT. And the most exciting thing about this evolution of apps is the incredibly rich data that will come with it.
The proper collection and analysis of this data will allow developers to build hyper-sophisticated monetization models, as well as solve some of the world’s biggest problems!
I’m incredibly optimistic about the direction we’re heading towards in apps. Buzinga is excited to be a part of such a dynamic industry!
Logan Merrick is the Co-Founder and Director of Buzinga App Development.
Logan has been personally involved in over 150 successful app projects, bringing his unrivaled expertise in the marketing and customer acquisition space to ensure the successful launch of every app. Connect with him on LinkedIn.