Apps still capture our attention when we think of mobile phone-sized marketing efforts. It makes sense. The idea of having your marketing engine in the pockets of your customers is compelling.
But it isn’t that easy.
First of all, apps are expensive to do well. Second, do you need a mobile app?
The answer to that question is where you should begin. Apps are seductive, and we have seen it become the pet project of many a CEO or Marketing Director – but no one stops to ask, is this going to meet our goals? Here are some criteria to help you determine if an app will be a worthwhile investment for your business, non-profit, or church.
Will it do something a website can’t?
Functionality is the number one consideration for whether you should build an app or not. If you can’t think of an app-specific function that you are trying to achieve, your mobile website is good enough. Fracturing your mobile strategy to create an app that could be a website will end up costing more resources than it returns.
What is an example of this type of functionality?
- Using phone-specific tools like gyroscopes, camera, AR, or GPS
- Robustly using notifications.
- Ability to work offline.
- Functions that take local computer processing power.
App abandonment is real.
Consider how many apps you have downloaded that you never opened three times. Your app may well end up on the proverbial dusty shelves of your user’s phone. Whenever you ask your customers to take action, it takes marketing, repeated communication, and ultimately their attention. If your app isn’t serving a critical purpose, you are diverting a valuable resource: your customer’s energy and attention.
Do you have enough spare interest from your audience to convince them to download an app and regularly use it? If not, use that ask for your primary marketing objectives. Your bottom line will thank you.
If you are contemplating a smartphone app, talk to an expert to determine if the functionality you are dreaming up can be achieved on a website just as well as an app.
Save your energy, resources, and customers from an expensive and distracting marketing disaster.