Do you need an app?

In a recent meeting, a client asked about creating an app.  He had seen a competitor offer an app, and therefore wondered if his company should have one, too.

At the end of the day, an app is no different than any other tool in your advertising toolbox – whether it’s traditional media, a digital advertising campaign, website retargeting, etc.  You first have to look at your goals, as well as your budget.

If your goal is to generate more business, will an app help you do that?  Is there something you have to offer in an app that consumers will find attractive enough to download it?  And if they download it, will it inevitably lead to more business for you? Finally, will the cost of the app provide a more efficient return than other available options?

When it comes to apps, it’s more important than ever to think about the consumer’s point of view.  There are thousands of apps available, and many companies out there offering apps.  Consumers can’t and won’t download them all. They will download an app that if, and only if, it provides some benefit or form of entertainment.

Obviously, when a bank offers an mobile banking app, it provides a convenience to its customers.  When a retail store offers an online app, it makes shopping easier for customers.  Apps that make life better, easier, or more fun are likely to get downloaded.  But if the app is more interesting to you than it is to your prospects, its not likely to garner much attention.

In the end, it comes down to the same set of rules.  Determine your goals.  Determine your budget.  Then determine what tools will most efficiently help you reach your goals within your budget.  If you stick to these principles, you can always be sure you’re doing the right thing.