How to make apps better marketing tools

Key advice for brands using apps as marketing tools from the Apps World Europe show this week.

  • Analytics: You wouldn’t build a website without analytics, so why do it with an app? There are tools out there that you can build into an app from the start that will tell you who’s using it, when, and how. Going to a developer without any idea of who your audience might be or how they’d like to interact with you via an app puts you on the back foot immediately.
  • Objective: Too many brands and businesses go to developers with very little idea of what they want to achieve. What is your objective in creating a branded app? If you’re just firing one out there because your competitors have one, you may as well not bother.
  • Metrics: Many brands will measure the success of their app on download numbers alone. Unfortunately that measurement isn’t going to give you a true impression of how your app is benefitting your bottom line. It’s about backing the right metric for the right app; but ROI has always got to be near the top of your list.
  • On-going: This measurement is an on-going process. Measure, test and refine.
  • Innovate: If you’re not innovating, you’re missing a trick. Mobile offers the opportunity for businesses to be really disruptive, solving business problems in interesting ways.
  • Who owns the app? In the past developers like Grapple and Chelsea Apps Factory would see CEOs leading companies’ app projects. However, today the projects are predominantly owned by marketing professionals. This is good on the whole as marketing is driven by analytics and measurement.
  • Budgets are increasing: How much is an app? How much is a piece of string? It depends on what you want, but businesses are waking up to the fact that it is possible to generate ROI on a mobile app. This has led to app strategy being taken far more seriously in the board room, with increased budgets as a direct result.
  • Beat the dreaded spike: Generally all apps will experience a spike in downloads followed by a tail off. Perhaps not releasing all of your awesome functionality ion one go, but providing regular updates that are tied in to marketing activity, could be one way to combat this.

 

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