According to Forbes, 82% of US business executives and 28% of U.S consumers carry a smartphone. With the launch of tablet readers such as the iPad, more and more people are working with extreme portability. For both B2B and B2C marketers, integrating mobile marketing should be part of their overall strategy and is an ideal platform for brands to interact and collaborate with their customers.
So let’s talk apps.
I have an iPhone and absolutely love it. I am sure I will love my iPad equally as much when I get it (I am a fan of all things apple so I have no doubts). I have a variety of apps installed such as social media apps, banking and payment apps, efficient utility apps (currency converters, time converters etc), travel apps and my favorite fast food ordering apps. I LOVE apps – I don’t have to bother with going to a users website to navigate all over, particularly when the site isn’t really designed for mobile. As I was using a variety of my apps today it got me thinking about whether or not it makes sense for a business to develop an app, and if so – which app platform (apple, android or blackberry).
When looking at mobile marketing, there are three basic ways to deliver content via a smartphone: normal webpages, websites designed for mobile devices and with native apps that run directly on the phone, which no doubt delivers the best user experience. Every business should develop a mobile friendly website to aid in having a strong mobile presence. Only then, should a business consider if an app would be worth considering.
Before jumping into the world of apps, ask yourself these questions:
- Know your customer base and their online behavior. Are they on smartphones? If so, which type (blackberry or apple)? Are they on Facebook, Twitter or email?
- Define your goals for the app. Does it give value to the user? Does it make your customer’s life easier or is it a gimicky marketing tool?
I myself prefer an app to a website when using my smartphone. I also am reminded of those businesses which apps I have downloaded on a daily basis. How about you – do you prefer mobile apps or websites? Does your business have an app?