In partnership with the East Coast Music Association, MindSea designed and launched an innovative app for iPhone and Android music fans. This case study describes how we worked together and what we accomplished.
The East Coast Music Association (ECMA) has a unique mission: to foster, develop, promote and celebrate East Coast Music and its artists locally, regionally, nationally, and interna- tionally. Its Eastlink East Coast Music Week has grown to become a must-attend event
in the Canadian music scene and includes a five day festival, an industry conference, and awards show.
- To promote Eastlink East Coast Music Week 2013, including a festival that features Atlantic Canada’s leading musicians, an industry conference welcoming delegates from all over the world, and the awards gala.
- To increase event attendance and participation by giving attendees an easy way to create their own schedule of must-hear events—before and during the festival—and spread the word using Facebook and Twitter.
- To generate in-app music sales while building an ongoing, connected community of music fans, artists, and industry players. This includes previewing, purchasing, and social sharing of songs and videos.
The Challenge: How To Go Mobile
We started by asking the right questions. The ECMA had a strong digital strategy already, and we collaborated on various mobile approaches. Here are just a few questions that the ECMA team answered with our help:
“We know our audience is mobile and social, but how can we use the power of mobile apps and social media to deliver on our mission?”
“How can we make our annual event even more successful? How could we increase attendees, sales, sponsorships, and community?”
“Ultimately, how can we promote and celebrate East Coast Music and our artists—both during and after our five day festival?”
These questions helped us clarify the real requirements. The ECMA needed an app to promote their member artists to fans all year long, to increase social sharing and connections, and to offer attendees of Eastlink East Coast Music Week 2013 an effective digital event tool.
It became clear that the ECMA’s unique vision and requirements would require an experienced team to collaborate, design, and deliver an app for both iPhone and Android.
ECMA: We chose to build a native app to use the smartphone’s full capabilities including access to the user’s calendar, quick sharing, camera, GPS, and offline use. After seeing the work that MindSea had done for events similar to our own, we were confident in choosing them to create this app.
We used our iterative design and development process to focus on the essential features, without trying to lock down all requirements up front. Every Wednesday, we delivered a demo to the ECMA and got their quick feedback. This weekly practice saved a lot of time by keeping our teams aligned on the right priorities.
ECMA: MindSea really understands the end-user perspective. Not only can we tick the boxes on a list of features, but we’ve designed a beautiful app to engage our users and build our community.
ECMA: Starting in the initial design phase, the weekly meetings and constant email communication between our teams kept the process moving forward. We focused on digital strategy and promotions, while MindSea managed all of the technical delivery activities, including direct coordination with other vendor teams that contribute to our digital presence
ECMA: This is not your average festival app. This intuitive app helps music fans discover the best and brightest of East Coast artists in a highly visual and dynamic way—on multiple platforms. An artist playing with an app prototype commented that it was like each artist has their own app within ours, which is a huge thrill.
For Eastlink East Coast Music Week 2013, the app includes the full schedule and programming with direct links to purchase tickets and event passes.
The app also has in-app previews and purchasing of songs and videos, social sharing features, “add to calendar” scheduling, mapping, and news feeds related to awards and events.
“Working with MindSea has been a fantastic experience. They are efficient, professional and creative, and they understand what it is that the East Coast Music Association is doing: promoting our East Coast artists!
With our new digital marketing plan we needed to reach a broader spectrum of people. MindSea understood this need and guided us through the project with ease. MindSea made sure to check in with us weekly to update us on the process and allow us to have input on the design throughout the app’s development.
From beginning to end our questions and concerns were handled quickly and efficiently and their dynamic approach to this app created something that our audience could really connect with.”
— Rose Allen, Marketing and Communications Manager, ECMA.
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