The last 15 years have seen unprecedented advancements in digital technology, with mobile devices and mobile apps leading the way. What started as a convenient way to make calls and send SMS texts, has fast become a revolution in the way we stay connected. Modern-day mobile devices are not simply used for talking, we now hold what is essentially a portable computer in our pockets, and a powerful one at that.
Should you consider a mobile app?
More and more businesses are looking to utilize mobile apps to engage with more customers, irrespective of their size or service. Mobile apps work two-fold – drawing new customers to your business and helping to retain and engage current customers by offering reminders and incentives to come back time and again.
You may well be asking, do all businesses need a mobile app, and what can one do for ours?
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Well, it’s important you think of your app as an extension of your product or service, and not a simple end product as may be the case with e-commerce. As humans, we naturally love to question and standardize what we are doing, but this runs the risk of putting your business in a constrictive box. Apps can be used in a plethora of different ways whilst simultaneously delivering goods and services efficiently. If you’re thinking of embarking on mobile app development, whether for iOS, Android or both, this is your chance to really get creative and start thinking about the big picture.
But first, you should follow these vital steps:
Determine your target audience
Consider who you are targeting as potential customers, and how many of them actually use smart phones. And if they are, would they actually bother to download an app? If so, then mobile app development could be the way forward.
Decide on a budget
Mobile app development is not a cheap endeavor, so you need to decide what your budget can stretch to. Whilst there are DIY options out there, you will still need to invest in software and take into consideration the amount of time it will take compared to bringing in an expert. If you find your budget doesn’t stretch, you could start by advertising on mobile websites instead.
Purpose and content
Before you dive in all guns blazing, make sure you have a clear purpose for your app and what it will deliver, and that your content backs this up. Ask yourself what problems will it solve for your target audience, and how will it make their life easier?
You need to decide if your app will be developed in for Android or iOS or both. Once the basic app has been developed, you need to think about cross-platform formatting so that it can be used across different devices. Whilst this will mean extra time and cost, in the long run, it could mean access to more potential customers too.
The benefits of mobile apps
By now, you are probably wondering exactly what benefits you can expect to see from mobile app development for your business. Below we’ve outlined some of the main benefits reported time and again:
- Provide value for customers
- Improve customer engagement
- Improve customer satisfaction and customer service
- You will stand out from the competition
- Create a direct marketing channel
- Solve internal company problems and improve relations
- Improve communication
- Improve efficiency, profitability, and productivity.
Which industries does it work for?
You might think that mobile apps only could be used in industries like E-commerce, stores, restaurants, and healthcare. But in the reality, many other industries can benefit from mobile apps.
In an article by Melanie Turek, she examines the results of a Frost & Sullivan survey that show interest in mobile software applications for employees is strong. Just for a year, the number of companies deploying at least one mobile worker app rise with almost 10%. Why are so many companies jumping into mobile apps for the workforce? Organizations who have already deployed an app report that mobile apps improve productivity, efficiency, and profitability.
For example, with mobile apps in the workforce, executives can view real-time information relating to each job, plus add jobs and details in real time for workers to view. No longer do organizations rely on paper or spreadsheets to log work, share information and communicate.
Educational institutions, also can benefit from mobile apps. The power of mobile apps can be leveraged to offer training to learners even when they don't have a connection to the internet. Mobile apps are easy way to provide access to materials, courses, schedules, news. They also can be used to formulate new approaches to campus activities. Students can utilize the app for student-to-teacher communication, and school employees can monitor the student engagement based on interests and much more.
Mobile apps can be very versatile in their purpose and use. From solving customer's pains, thru increasing customer engagement and increasing the workflow efficiency.
How to market your mobile app?
If you consider building a mobile app and you are convinced that your target audience will benefit from it, then it’s time for you to put a roadmap of the marketing activities which you will need to execute further. A good time to start planning your mobile app marketing strategy is when you start building your mobile app on first place. A good mobile app strategy takes time, research and action plan. Some of the key points which you should consider during the creation of your marketing strategy are:
- App store optimization
- Social media advertising
- Google advertising
- Website landing page which will support your marketing campaigns
You may not be sure whether your marketing strategy is complete, or you might need professional advice or help to build your app. Request a free consultation with our experts and we will discuss all aspects of your ideas, and give you valid opinion on your best approach and execution.
Prototype offers a full range of app development services - from ideation to marketing. Contact us for more details.