More and more companies are getting in the app game. If you’re beginning to create your company’s mobile strategy, it’s important to maintain a focus on what exactly you want your app to do.
While apps give marketers an opportunity to get their brands on customers’ phone screens, companies “need to justify ROI and drive that ultimate business objective – to sell,” writes Adam Levene, chief strategy officer of Grapple Mobile and columnist for the U.K.’s Mobile Commerce Daily (Jan. 21).
Levene says it’s possible to get caught up in the entertainment side of apps, citing the example of British hotel brand Premier Inn’s revival through funny TV ads featuring comedian Lenny Henry. “It would have been very easy to create a Lenny Henry soundboard app, but how would it drive sales?” he wrote.
“Instead we have created an application that allows people to find their nearest Premier Inn, check availability and book a room from within the app. This is far handier than a soundboard the next time you are stranded at a service station at 3 a.m.”
Adam Levene’s 2 Questions for Building App Marketing:
1. Will this app reach my target audience? “Know your target audience, understand smartphone user profiles and build for multiple platforms to extend the reach.”
2. Will this app help sell my product? “Find mechanics within your app that will provide value to customers; to increase loyalty and ultimately sell. Add store-finders, give vouchers, make use of barcode scanners and link the app to the retail presence, and make your app transactional.”
Top Trend for SMBs in 2011: Mobile Applications
Steve Hilton of InformationWeek predicted (Feb. 7) mobile apps will be the number-one trend for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) this year.
“One of the top trends for consumers has been the proliferation of mobile applications. There are plenty of interesting applications that are appropriate and useful for SMBs, but no vendor or service has substantively started capitalizing on the value of mobile applications in an applications store environment for SMBs,” he writes.
Analysys Mason expects carriers will create packages of mobile applications for SMBs, Hilton adds, pre-testing apps (with help from handset vendors) to ensure they work on all platforms.
“There are many categories for SMB employees – for example, salespeople, technology support, customer services, executives, etc. – so we anticipate that (carriers) will categorize SMB end users into different segments and match those segments to appropriate mobile application packages.”
Companies Ramping Up App Strategy: Survey
“It’s a post-PC world, and mobile development is the name of the game,” wrote Dana Gardner, principal analyst of Interarbor Solutions on Monday (Feb. 7). A new report from Appcelerator and IDC found that while businesses and developers race to create the optimal mobile strategy, they’re keeping an eye on platforms and business models.
“Businesses are increasingly taking a multi-platform approach,” writes Gardner. “On average, respondents said they plan to deploy apps on at least four different devices.”
Companies are building momentum in their app efforts. “Last year, most respondents (44 percent) said they were in the exploration phase of their mobile strategy,” Gardner notes. “This year, 55 percent said they are now shifting into the ‘acceleration’ phase.”