As I mentioned I have had a bit of time off work (and this project) while recovering from a little accident I had last Tuesday. I got back into things again today and so have a few things to report on today. My biggest concern at the moment is that my week off has meant that the Phone 7 version is way behind the delivery of the iPhone/iPad version which is currently in testing stages and about ready for Beta launch. I have to make the decision very shortly if I launch with just that version or wait until I finish my “hacking” on the Phone 7 version. Still to be decided!

Made to Stick

I have been reading a great book recommended to me by James Tuckerman founder & editor in Chief of Anthill called “Made to Stick”. Having time off (and the handiness of my Kindle!) gave me the chance to read a great deal of this and reframe and refine some of my thoughts around the goal of the application into a single, simple Commanders Intent: To enable parents of young children to discover, rate and share information on local parks. Having this simple goal has made so many decisions much clearer. It also gives some great tips around framing a marketing message so that its memorable and “sticks”.

Building a PR Strategy

While I had time off I also spent time thinking about and refining our Marketing strategy. Based on the book above combined with some great advice from one of our Network Partners, Founder of Technology venture firm Blue Chilli, Sebastien Eckersley-Mason, I have been able to focus on locking down our PR story lines.

“Firstly, like everyone else, Journalists like it when you do their job for them - so write a press release like it was an article.  Good press releases use facts and are relevant to current themes and issues.  Best way to get facts is to write your own survey (surveymonkey), get 100 people to fill it out and include a few crazy questions to tease out some remarkable facts.  Also look into infographics. “

Taking this advice on board I started to do some research. I had already had a great response to my SurveyMonkey survey – which has allowed me to get not just information about the features of the application, but about the habits of the target market – parents of young children. ChildhoodObesityinNSW

The biggest “lead” that seems to tie to current topical issues is the lack of physical activity of children.

I have reached out to some contacts who work with children in health services to get some “qualified” statements to support this idea.

I also went on the hunt for “quantified” research. I didn’t have to look far.

Looking at this graph released by NSW health, even just locally, the NSW government is concerned about this issue. The current projection is that approx 35% of boys and girls will be obese by 2016. Now that’s a scary projection! 

They released a plan in 2009 to address the concerns around increasing Childhood obesity.

PlanofAttackThe current plan of attack to address this problem includes driving awareness of the problem, encouraging healthy and activity lifestyles and resulting in changing behaviours.

Two behaviour changes that stood out to me were the decrease of sedentary small screen behaviour  - which I believe has become an even bigger problem since 2009 with the increase in consumerisation of IT, the prolific adoption of smart phones and tablet/iPad style devices. The second factor of interest is the increase in moderate to vigorous activity – so getting out & about!

Both of these factors appeal to my target market and are certainly aligned to the goals of the application. It also aligns to the results of our market research which showed distinctly that parents would take their children to more & a greater range of parks if an application like the one we are building existed.

When we finish the Press Release in the coming days I look forward to getting feedback from you all on it! Smile