Mobile consumers present a huge and growing market that businesses can target to promote their products and services. But for this to happen, they need to go mobile with their business; and one of the better ways of going mobile is to build a mobile app. Quite a number of businesses are already doing that and some of them are experiencing continuing benefits of releasing a mobile app. But, the keyword here is ‘some’ businesses and not all. This is because not all businesses are optimizing the use of their apps and they got themselves an app before considering certain essential factors.
Let’s take a look at these factors that determine whether a business’s idea of getting a mobile app has any merit.
Number of Mobile users in your Target Market
The key question to ask yourself is whether you will be able to reach the maximum number of people who are a part of your target audience through your mobile app. It makes no sense to get an app developed, if only a limited number of consumers who comprise your target audience are smartphone users. On the other hand, if you have no doubts that your mobile app will help you connect with a wide audience, it’s definitely a great idea. There is yet another aspect to this particular consideration. You must also identify the platform on which you want to develop the app for e.g. whether it’s for the iOS, BlackBerry OS, Android OS, Windows Phone 7 or Symbian. The platform must be the one that your target users most prefer to use.
A mobile app or a mobile website
Don’t just build an application for the sake of building one. If you think your needs will be best served with a mobile website, then it’s a website that you must choose. If your business already has a website, you can make it mobile compatible; this is going to be a more cost effective solution for taking your business mobile. The role of your customers is very important here. What would they prefer – a mobile app or a mobile website? Choose something that they will be comfortable about using.
Taking time out to feed the Mobile App
You will need to take care of your mobile app by updating it regularly and it is not something that you can take down, if you think it has done its job or outlived its existence. The successful applications are the ones that have longevity and are the ones that users like coming back to, time and time again. What this means is that you will need to keep it fresh and updated. If you don’t have the time to do that, say goodbye to any chances of app success. So, in order to decide whether your business needs a mobile app or not, it’s important to determine your levels of commitment towards feeding the app with the latest information about your business.
Do you have a clearly defined role for your mobile app? No doubt, it is going to play an important role in your business’s marketing mix, but what do you hope to achieve from it. You need to identify a benchmark that you would like your mobile app to achieve. Once that is done, you will feel that your mobile app has done its job. If you don’t have a clearly defined goal for your mobile app, its development and its use will be directionless.
But before anything else, there is another factor that comes up for consideration. If you don’t give this factor its due, your mobile app fails much before it’s been developed. This factor is ‘Conceptualization’. Do you have a well-defined concept in mind for your business app? The whole app is founded on a concept, and a vague concept never led to the development of a successful app. So, get the concept right and everything else will fall into place.