Go Ahead… Take An App

Mobile-AppsOK, now wake up. (See what I did there?) It seems like apps for tablets and smart phones are all important. One statistic i found shows that they’re so popular and widely used that there are 100,000 released every day. Analysts estimate that in 2013, between 56 and 82 billion smart phone apps were downloaded.

Yes, you read that right: I said billion.

It can be tempting to blindly jump on the app bandwagon and create one. A lot of companies did the same thing with social media. Once the adoption rate took off, everyone KNEW they needed a social media presence. Of course, when asked why, you could hear the crickets. Eventually people realized that before establishing a social media presence, they needed to develop their social media strategy as a component of their marketing campaigns. Yes, apps are huge. But have you considered whether or not it best serves your customers. What value does it add? What is its purpose?

To begin to hone your app vision, here are some things to consider:

Live in Their Pockets
Apps are an extremely effective way to increase brand awareness. When one of your satisfied customers has a conversation with someone who needs your services, an app makes for simple sharing. Your company’s information can be sent to a new potential client at the push of a button – by someone they know and trust.

Once your app is on their phone, your brand is front and center. Studies say that smart phone users check their phones up to 150 times per day. If they catch a glimpse of your logo each time… Well, that’s a lot of “touches,” to use a marketing term.

What’s Your Function?
When a customer comes to us and asks us to build an app for their company, we ask, “how is the app different than your website?”

You might have noticed that many apps are little more than a hyperlink to the company’s site, or they perform the same basic functions as the site. The only difference is that instead of opening your browser and going to the homepage, you open your phone and tap an icon.

Maybe that’s fine. It couldn’t necessarily hurt to have a shortcut for the same functionality that the website offers, especially if it’s a site like Facebook that requires a login and password. If you download the Virgin Airlines app you can look up flights, check departure times and even purchase tickets. But you can just as easily do all that on the website.

Get the Most Out of Your App
If you’re still trying to decide whether or not to have an app created for your business, again I suggest you think of it in terms of social media. If you have a Twitter account but never use it, what good does it do other than to show your audience that you’re not current with social media?

The same goes for your app. If you’re going to invest in having an app created for your company, do it right and think about what value it brings to your customers as opposed to just jumping on board the app bandwagon because it’s trendy. And don’t just consider what the app will do today. What is the road map for your app? What will it do tomorrow?

Next Steps
Do you need an app? Who will use it? What does it need to do? How should it look, feel and interface? What will it need to be and do in the future? Let’s talk about how Edge Solutions Group can  help you develop your vision for your app and avoid the crickets. Call (310) 499-4929 or email Edge Solutions Group today.

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