One of the common requests we hear from businesses is “I want a mobile app.”
There are some good benefits of your business having a mobile app. And yes we can help you create a mobile app – anything from basic to complex depending upon your budget and the functionality that you need.
However, there are a few things that we always urge a client to consider before jumping into offering a mobile app. Not considering these can easily mean that your results will be dismal, and you will have paid for something that is nowhere close to meeting your marketing or business goals.
The most important question that you need to get real with yourself with is: will this app add something noticeably positive to your client/prospect’s life?
This can be a really hard question to get the answer right.
We all love our own business, and of course automatically assume that everyone else loves it just as much.
But if I’m being real with you (and I am) … they don’t.
They love the results you’re getting them, or the widget that they bought from you, or the service you provide. They may even feel connected to your business. You can’t confuse those things – which are all very centered on THEM – as being the same as what you feel.
For most consumers, there better be a real good reason for me to add your app to my phone. And an even better one to keep it there.
I’m one of those people (and I’m not the only one) who doesn’t like to clutter up their phone screen with 1,001 mobile apps. In my world, less is more. Even though I keep apps organized in folders, I curate which apps I let have a home on my screen.
And then there’s the problem of offloading. As space gets eaten up on my phone because of photos and videos, my phone offloads apps based upon how frequently they’re used (at least, I think that’s how they are chosen). Yes, I have a iPhone which has limits on how much storage space you can have, and this feature is meant to allow you to take that one extra photo. If I’ve been taking a lot of photo and video, your app – assuming that it made it onto my phone – may get offloaded. That means some of the reasons to have a mobile app that are beneficial to your business, such as being able to send messages right to my phone, aren’t going to happen.
Then there are my kids and their friends – Millennials and Gen Z. I watch how they interact with the mobile apps they’ve downloaded on their phones. If your app doesn’t provide them something of real value, they will delete it themselves much quicker than my phone could ever offload it.
So you have to get real with yourself and approach your mobile app from the perspective of your consumer.
Is there real benefit for the consumer to receive by downloading your app?
Their benefit cannot be framed in any goal or statistic that will help your business.
- Will your mobile app allow them to use your product or service easier? Booking appointments, making reservations, ordering food / service / product?
- Will your mobile app provide exclusive content or information that they cannot get elsewhere?
- Will your mobile app allow them to earn things, collect points, serve as a loyalty app?
- Will your mobile app offer discounts or coupons? Are these personalized? Are they location-based?
- Will your mobile app provide a quick and efficient customer service connection?
- Will your mobile app provide a way for your customer to submit feedback, AND know that it was received and being reviewed?
- Is your mobile app a game? Is it a fun game that has strategy but not so overwhelming that you get pissed off and want to quit? (For most businesses, you’re not offering a game; just noting that it’s one of the few types of mobile apps that may actually get downloaded!)
If you can’t honestly answer an enthusiastic and resounding YES to most, if not all, of these questions, then your business is not ready to launch a mobile app.
Mobile app development – even if you do a basic app the easy way – requires a commitment of your resources of money, time (initial development plus regular updating), and expertise (submission to the app store isn’t always an easy process). The worse thing a business can do is commit those resources without having developed a solid mobile app marketing plan that consists of not only a plan to externally market the app and drive downloads, but also a plan to integrate the app with the best customer experience possible so that your target base will actually download your offering. Having spent all of those resources for an app that no one wants, or that they delete shortly after installing because it doesn’t meet their needs, is a lot of wasted resources. And most likely, if you lose them initially, they won’t bother to download your app again later when you finally do get it right.
Before you jump on the mobile app bandwagon for your business, I recommend that you talk through a solid strategy of what your app may have to offer.