Mobile Apps: Value-Add or Fad?

2/27/2013

Danielle Leitch, Executive Vice President

I think it is now very safe to say that Mobile is not a fad or trend and likely the way of the future. With astronomical growth in the past year, mobile usage is surpassing that of the desktop. Many advertisers have now shifted their focus to trying to capitalize on this market and ensuring a positive user experience for those visiting from various mobile devices. Google even made a major shift in their advertising platform, by recently announcing Adwords Enhanced Campaigns. This change establishes all campaigns to be automatically opted-in for targeting mobile devices/users during set-up.

With all this in mind, one would think that every company would recognize the importance of crafting a short and longer term strategy for Mobile. Not necessarily the case. Many marketers have jumped in quickly, without a comprehensive or scalable approach. In my opinion, this has led to wasted dollars in the Mobile Apps space. It seemed there were apps developed without much logic, strategy or marketing plans to promote them. Therefore, many companies felt apps weren't useful or did not provide value.

Crafting a good idea and having a real need or use for the app is priority number one for your business. Ask yourself 'Why is the company creating an app?" and "What do we expect to gain from having an app?" before you get started. If there aren't clear answers to both of those questions, the time may not be right for you to head into development.

Another important consideration once an app has been developed is how to market it. After you invest resources, time and financial into creating the app a marketing plan specifically developed to promote the app, should immediately follow. Leveraging an existing customer or fan base is a great start, but also consider opportunities to get in front of a new audience given a different medium. Google offers advertisers the ability to promote apps within Adwords sponsored listings and drive visitors who click directly to the download. This applies to both IOS (Apple iphone & ipad) and Android applications.

If you aren't getting the results you hoped for with your current mobile app, consider how engaging the existing app is for users (or isn't) and what you can do to market it better.

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