Not so long ago, developing a dedicated mobile app seemed like a thing reserved for big companies or heavy-smoking developers locked in their parents’ basements. Not anymore – things have changed, my friend! Now, with more and more people creating apps, generating software to make them and users having grown accustomed to install apps for even the most menial of tasks, almost anyone can have an app.
Don’t get too excited just yet. Of course, everyone can have an app. But does everybody needs an app? And what about you and your business? Would be beneficial for you to make one? Some people could argue that yes, that an app for your company can be fun and informational while driving customers to you. But things aren’t that simple.
Affordable and easy to create – yet not mandatory
Apps aren’t mandatory for your business – get that in your head. You should look for a reason that justifies the amount of money (not so much) and time (definitely a lot) you’ll invest in making that smartphone app. There are a lot of ways in which you can justify the app’s development, like:
- Your business obviously benefits from it: if you own a restaurant, a hotel or something that will evidently benefit both you and your clients, then go for it. If your business involves some sort of online orders or bookings, then you already found your justification.
- Your business is exclusively online: this may sound like the one above but it fits a different category because is even more obvious than the businesses above. Ecommerce sites are the clear examples here.
- Your clients can meet you at various locations: if you own several stores, then an app might help your clients find you even faster and most comfortably via the location features in the app. Offer them a unique discount while they are on your area and you’ll entice them to knock down your doors to buy you stuff.
- Your business offers trackable services: imagine you own a construction company and you’re hired to build a whole house. Your clients would be very interested in tracking how all things are going and you can make this through a complete app. This can also work for other professional services.
Is that it?
Of course not. If you can’t justify your app’s development with any of the above, you might still have a chance of finding another one out there. Apps can generate interaction instances that complement your marketing efforts in other channels. So, even if you don’t have a specific purpose for your app, you can still use one for branding.
Encouraging people that install your app to participate in contests, learn some tips related to what you have to offer or provide some funny videos that educate and entertain are just a few ways in which mobile branding is possible. What you need to find the other gazillion ways out there is imagination to understand your target audience and what they might enjoy. Once you found that, you can offer them exactly that through your app.
Can’t find a justification to go with your app? Don’t develop one. Don’t jump on a wagon you don’t understand just because others told you that you need it. First of all, you’re the one that knows your business best, so you should figure out whether an app is a sound investment or not. And second, not because everyone else is doing it, it means that it will work for you. Just consider all the factors involved and make up your own mind.