All you need to know about mobile apps if you are considering creating one for your brand.
written by Cristina Fernandez
Mobile marketing has been opening many doors the past few years. It seems that it was only yesterday when mobile marketing was all about sms and now the market is all about mobile apps. The apps are programs specifically designed to be used on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.
Some apps are the main business of a company and others are used to support the company’s products and services. Meaning that some apps are another distribution channel or communication channel more than a product that it is meant to report profit. Knowing this, it is no wonder why marketers want to increase their investment in app marketing during 2017.
Mobile adaptation is the implementation of a different platform for mobile devices. As commented in my mobile marketing article, the basic adaptation is to have a mobile friendly website. The mobile friendly websites allow consumers to comfortably access your website from any device and it can grant you more satisfied consumers with your website.
The next level of mobile adaptation is now the apps. These programs are designed to always be accessible to consumers, and they show a certain level of loyalty to your brand by downloading your mobile app. Meaning that by downloading your app, your consumers have direct access to you anytime and anywhere without any effort.
According to Brit Tammeorg, in 2015 apps took up 89% of the user’s time on their smartphones which in average is almost two hours per day. But, despite this, to be downloaded and used by consumers is not that easy. For instance recipe finders, checklist for grocery stores, easy prepay method, safe access to your bank account, car or house renting, transport or hotel booking, etc. are only some examples of the fever for the corporate apps. All of them have something in common – they are downloaded because they are useful.
An app has to be more than your website, it must be entertaining, handy, or give different advantages, but it can not be just the same old thing. If you are thinking about creating an app you must consider how useful that app will be for your consumers. If the consumers go through all the trouble of downloading and registering it, they will expect obvious advantages. Not finding those will create a bad impression and attitude, forcing a step back and getting a negative effect on the loyalty of your consumers.
Some companies will opt for creating a new channel for their shopping systems by offering app discounts and other kind of advantages, since e-commerce and retail are the most successful app type in terms of consumer usage. Others will instead choose to create some value that does not have to be directly related to their business although it is implemented by them. This indirect value creation is known as brand content and it can be applied to many different channels.
Let’s say that you sell clothes, the first option is to create yet another online shop in the app but this time with more discounts directed to those users who buy online from their smartphone. The other option would be a suggestion of looks for everyday life, work, weekends, sports, or parties by following the latest fashion and using your clothes as an example, which can be perfectly linked to your actual website to be purchased or be just an addition to your app shop. This indirect approach can raise the trustworthiness of your business and create new feelings of awareness and loyalty.
Choose a side
Once you find the perfect idea for an app, you need to create it. The creation has to be user friendly which means that it has to be professionally done. If you trust your idea is good enough, it will be worth the investment. App developers can be specialized in different platforms but it is up to you to find out which platform you want to best reach your consumers.
Ideally, your company would be on all the platforms, but you would preferably choose the one that suits your consumers to start of with. It is possible for you to know the devices your consumers are using to visit your website through app analytic tools. You can research the brands and operative systems of those devices and then make a choice about the platform you want to be on.
The choice of making your app friendly to one platform means that you are going to be found at a particular application store. The three main ones are Apple’s App Store, Android’s Google Play and the Microsoft Store. These are apps in different smartphones that are needed to download companies’ apps in the market that can be ran by your device. Between all of them they add up to 4.7 million apps available for consumers, all of them competing for your attention. Usually the link to them can also be found by consumers on your website and also promoted in a real store by using QR-codes.
Use your information
At this point you have an app developed out of a good idea, your consumers are downloading it and using it frequently. Now what? Using the new data you have available to you can now help you make better business decisions going forward. The consumer’s online behavior will give you many clues about how to approach them.
You can start an email newsletter and personalize it to a certain level thanks to the exclusive information you have gathered about your customers. To optimize this information we would recommend using segmentation techniques according to gender, age, and some behavior patterns such as the most visited pages or the time spent on your app.
Hopefully we have introduced you to the challenges of creating an app, but also the advantages that a good app offers you and your consumers. If you have any questions regarding corporate apps please feel free to leave a comment below.