Does your business really need an app for that?
But before you jump on the mobile app bandwagon, you still need to consider your options.
Today’s smart phones have capabilities nearly to the level of desktops and support both regular Web sites and mobile versions. As a result, you might be able to achieve your goals in a more cost effective way by creating a mobile version of your Web site.
Some companies require more capabilities for mobile than their regular Web site offers. In those instances, a mobile app and the cost associated with it make sense. But for many others, simply developing the mobile version of the Web site will suffice or be even better than the app. For example, Wikipedia’s mobile site is tailored to fit the size of the screen it is viewed on and seems more user friendly than the app.
If you have weighed the benefits vs. the overhead costs of developing the app and decided it is time to move forward, remember to make it about them—your current and potential customers:
- Begin by identifying the “who” as in who is the target market for the app and why they would use or need it.
- Provide fresh, updated content that adds value for users. The more time sensitive, the better. Announce specials and provide new information.
- Remember it is about convenience for them. Make their lives easier and become part of their routine as much as possible. Build an app for each mobile phone platform so it is available for anyone that wants to use it.
- Make sure the app does something and isn’t just a mobile website. Otherwise, why make the bigger investment?
- Get the word out about the app. Tell current and potential customers about it and give them a compelling reason to use it. Utilize multiple mediums like e-mail, text, Twitter, your Web site and others to reach them.
Your business may or may not need a mobile app today. But you definitely need to analyze the opportunity and enhance your mobile presence now and in the future.
David Mastovich, MBA is president of MASSolutions, Inc. With a core philosophy of integrated marketing, MASSolutions focuses on improving the bottom line for clients through creative selling, messaging and PR solutions. In his recent book, "Get Where You Want To Go: How to Achieve Personal and Professional Growth Through Marketing, Selling and Story Telling," Mastovich offers strategies to improve sales and generate new customers; management and leadership approaches; and creative marketing, PR and communications ideas. For more information, please visit massolutions.biz.