Mobile

Is Creating a Mobile App the Right Move for Your Company? The Benefits and Concerns

Now that mobile is coming to the forefront of marketing and web development (to say the least), applications are naturally becoming more and more important. Although this used to be somewhat advanced and even confusing in the past, the latest mobile technology has made it possible for virtually every company and every type of company to create an app. The big question is simply whether or not it’s the right move for any given company.

As just about everyone with a smartphone already knows (all 2 billion of you), an app, or application, is a piece of code that you create that is completely separate from your website. This means that you have to create something entirely new and manage the app on it’s own. The benefits are discussed above, but by and large many companies are creating apps as a way to make their information even more accessible and give their clients and customers another avenue to engage with the company faster and easier than in the past. A mobile website is great and necessary thanks to mobilegeddon, but apps take things one-step further, which you can learn more about below. An app is a great and creative option, but keep in mind, not every company is suited for an app, even in 2015.

Benefits of Creating an Application for Your Company

The truth is that creating a mobile application isn’t much trouble at all. It’s important first, however, to consider some of the benefits and see if an app is right for you. Some of these benefits include:

  • Convenient for Users. Once a user downloads the app, all they have to do is click it and they’re ready to go. Although some companies may think having to download the app is a disadvantage, people are beginning to make using apps commonplace. The whole idea behind applications is convenience for users, and they know that.
  • Customization Available. Because an app is a native piece of code, you can customize it in any way you see fit for your company. This means that you have complete control over how relevant and helpful your app is to your customers and clients. If there was ever something about your company that you hoped could be easier, and app just might be the answer.
  • Reach. Apps could very well help you reach a new audience. More and more people are beginning to shy away from desktops and traditional websites and are using apps and their mobile phones as their connection to the web.
  • Easy Integration. Apps can be created to sync up with information that a user may have in their phone. For example, if your customer wanted to get a content update from your website, an app might allow them to sync this up with their mobile calendar.
  • Extra Cash. Many companies choose to create a free app as a way to help customers make purchasing decisions easier, but some have been successful selling the actual app itself. Either way, it usually can’t hurt to create an app.
  • PR Tool. Apps are currently a huge trending topic in the media. Lists of some of the latest apps do well because there is such a demand for that type of content, so you can use your app as a PR tool and help get your brand into that discussion.
  • Competition. Many of your competitors will start creating apps, so you don’t want to fall behind. At this point you might be one of the first in your industry or in your area, but that is a great way to stand out and grab the entire audience that is looking for an app for the type of work that you do.

One of the most important things to realize about a mobile app is that it is not a mobile website. A mobile website is simply using your website and customizing it for the mobile screen and the mobile user. It is not a native piece of code. Creating a mobile website should probably be your first plan of action, and an app second.

When Creating a Company App Might Not Be Right for Your Company

So naturally, with pros come a few cons. In general, there are two things that deters companies from creating an app: First, you can only run your app on one platform, which means that you have to develop multiple apps if you want it to be available for different operating systems (BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Android, etc.). Second, users have to download and find the app from an app store. You can advertise your app on your website, but they can’t get it right then and there. It’s something to consider. If this is your biggest worry, I recommend checking out this article that discusses App Store Optimization, or ASO.

Your Turn

Of course once you decide if an app is right for your company, you have to work with a developer and make it happen. What you want out of an app, how you want it designed, how you want it to work, and more can get very involved, so it’s best to work with a professional to put your plans into action. You can learn more about how to create and optimize an app here.

Have you ever created a mobile app for your company? Did you find it successful, or would your time have been better spent elsewhere? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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