Lets face it, having a mobile application developed for a company can be very expensive.
Some companies use that money to make a mobile app that is more or less a working version of their website for mobile devices. Other companies will create ads that other mobile apps can include in their mobile applications. And lastly there are some companies that find an interactive way to advertise their product or service as a mobile application. Each has their own benefits and uses.
1. Getting Your Foot in the Door
The first use of mobile applications, which is having your website on the app store as a mobile application.
- Your company will show up in searches on the app store.
- Content can be stored off-line.
- Great for content that changes often such as blogs to keep users updated.
- Paying a lot to gain little.
- People want apps that are interactive not necessarily just for content.
- People look for information once and rarely need it again.
Since people will not be using it much, word will not get out about it and you will find low numbers of downloads and probably would not be worth the money spent to create it.
2. Save Money and Let Others Do the Dirty Work
The next level up is creating mobile ads that can be added to other websites. A great example of this is olive garden. One of the authors on Mobile Marketer wrote an article describing their strategy. Olive Garden has location friendly ads, that when someone taps their ad, it will find the nearest Olive Garden for the user to try out one of their new menu items under 575 calories.
- Not as expensive as full-blown app.
- Advertises the product effectively.
- App developers will be attracted to adding ads into their app for the potential of generating their own revenue from it.
- Little to no control over what app your ad shows up in.
- Apps with ads often give the option to pay to remove ads which could cause visibility to decrease.
3. Taking Full Advantage of Modern Technology
The third option is, in my opinion, the way apps should be done. Sure its expensive, but it is also the most effective at getting your product, service, and/or brand out there. The key to creating a mobile application that gets your name out there is knowing what your product, service, or brand is.
Once you have that you just need a little creativity in the mix. Take a look at Charmin, yes the toilet paper brand. This mobile application is genius! This mobile application more or less keeps track of where there is a public restroom near your current location. Think about it, you have been on a nice 6 hour drive and all of the sudden, the three coffees you had before you left has hit. Where do you go? Open up the Charmin Sit or Squat app and you will find a place very quickly.
ESPN did a great job too. They have a mobile application that lets you follow your favorite sports teams and it will notify you any time the score changes when that team is playing. If you are on the go you never have to miss a game. This sort of application is possible for any company with enough creativity.
- Gets people talking. When someone enjoys how they interact with your company they tell their friends and then they get hooked on it too.
- Possibility of paid version to help generate profit.
- Provide great advertising for what your company does.
- The cost – It’s not cheap, there is no hiding that. But with proper marketing, the disadvantage of cost will turn into a profit as word of the app gets out and more people interact with the company.
Now It’s Your Turn
Which one of these approaches has your brand tried? Any of them? What worked and what didn’t? Let me know in the comments.