There’s been a lot of talk over the last few weeks on the growth of revenue derived from apps; whether it is the adoption of subscription based apps or the in-app purchases consumers have become comfortable making. So comfortable that some say in-app purchases (a.k.a. clicking ‘buy’ in a gaming app) could reach over $4 billion in 2012- double that of 2011!
And it’s not just about revenue. Studies site that consumers use apps to access the Internet more than with a browser, a prediction made over a year ago that, no doubt will continue to grow.
So should you have an app? To help answer this question, I sought out a highly respected custom software development company that has been watching this trend for over 17 years. Amadeus Consulting out of Boulder, Colorado started building mobile apps back in the late 90’s for Window’s CE. With the adoption of smartphones both in the US and overseas, Amadeus Consulting has been busy developing mobile apps for all kinds of businesses.
I spoke with Monica Valdez, Director of Digital Marketing at Amadeus Consulting to get her insight on how three different categories of business can make an impact with mobile apps and what you need to get started:
Big Brands: Much like in the 90’s when the World Wide Web boomed, every brand had or needed a website to stay relevant to consumers. The same is true today for large brands and apps. Consumers have come to expect apps as a way to access their favorite brand’s content. Gaming apps, when developed with a goal in mind, can also be an effective use of an app for a large brand.
Local Business: Apps have become standard in looking for retail locations, directions, seeking out store promotions and more. Local businesses can add value for consumers by including special offers and added value for downloading an app.
Media Companies: Through apps, media can solicit feedback from their audience about themselves or for other businesses. Flurry Analytics and other analytics tools are very robust and valuable to learning more about a particular audience and how they engage in products and services.
If you want to embark on developing an app, Monica recommends you keep these 10 things in mind:
- First and foremost, have a goal.
- Understand your audience and make sure what you’re providing will be seen as valuable. Is your offer relevant?
- How are you going to track performance? Is it through paid downloads, outreach, conversation rates, donations, etc?
- Time to develop varies based on the complexity of platforms and screens for your app. It could take 6 weeks to several months.
- Have you planned how to market your app? Sometimes people make the mistake of leaving marketing until the end. Think about and plan for marketing your app early on.
- To market your app, you could be looking at 3 weeks to 3 months using an integrated campaign that’s optimized after launch.
- Consider casting your net wide at launch. Social media can be very effective.
- Visual literacy and expectations within the space will continue to evolve so the app you build today will also need to evolve.
- Don’t forget to think about the device the consumer will be using to access your apps. Tablets and smartphones both have different considerations.
- Make sure you are tracking performance with Flurry Analytics or another analytics tool so you can evaluate how users are engaging with your app after it’s downloaded
Kim Willoughby is a Senior Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy.