Friday, November 29, 2013
In the excellent, although sadly now ended sitcom 30 Rock, a journalist is kidnapped by North Korea, which has actually happened on occasion. She manages to use her iPhone to call her husband by misleading them about the nature of the device: “Nobody here’s ever seen an iPhone. I told them it was my razor. I have to shave my legs with it, but they have an app for that!” While the iPhone is now an integral part of many peoples lives, they don’t (yet) manage to take care of our personal grooming, although there is anapp that will at least simulate the shaving process. It really does seem like there’s an app for everything! It seems that most large companies have taken the time to develop an app, as it’s now recognized as an important tool for interacting with new and potential customers, although some company apps are less successful than others. Does your company actually need an app? In this day and age, where a Wifi network is always seemingly within reach, the answer almost always seems to be yes. Unless you operate a tiny grocery store that caters exclusively to the local community, an app can be your company’s best friend. Apps aren’t necessary for all businesses, and it can be difficult to decide whether to invest time and money in developing one.
What can an App do for Your Company?A successful company app should really just be an extension of your existing online presence, specifically constructed for smartphones and tablet devices. Having said that, there is a difference between an app, which when it comes to companies is essentially a marketing tool, and a mobile version of your website, which allows it to function effectively on mobile devices. An app can be as simple as allowing a customer to easily locate your physical location, or directing them to your online retail division, enabling them to make a purchase while on the go.
Apps and Brand AwarenessSometimes an app becomes a necessity for a certain type of industry, and it’s often a case of if your competitors are doing it, then you should too. An app increases brand awareness, and since customer’s use of companies’ apps shows no signs of abating, it can be necessary to have one- without it you can run the risk of being left behind when it comes to this specific and increasingly important medium.
What are Your Goals with an App?While successful customer interaction is the ultimate goal with an app, you need to think about what kind of experience you want your customers to have with the app. Some apps are designed for a very specialized purpose; Huggies Diapers have developed an app that requires a receiver to be attached to your baby’s diaper and then sends a message to your phone when the diaper becomes wet. A skilled software developer will look at your needs and intentions and can construct an app that offers features you may not have even considered.
Apps and ConversionsParticularly for those who operate in the retail sector, a digital experience comparable to the app is now part of the in-store experience, and a number of retail outlets now offer interactive information screens or iPad kiosks that allow customers to browse the product range and find out specific information about a particular product or device. These screens should ideally encourage more mobile interaction by inviting customers to download your app. It’s important to gauge the success of your app by seeing how many queries it converts to actual sales- perhaps special offers can be offered exclusively via app.
There are so many variables in the corporate world that it really can be perplexing to determine the worthiness of an app for your operations. Don’t think about it too long though, since your competitors are likely to be mulling over the exact same question.
This guest-post was written by David Kovacs who is an online marketing enthusiast from Hungary and loves to share his thoughts and articles on various channels in topics related to tech, business and SEO. If you have any question feel free to leave a comment.