Forget for the moment that apps are expensive and time-consuming to develop, launch and support. And, that successful apps have millions of users in the general public, while a B2B app is limited to…who?
That’s just one critical issue you have to address before deciding whether or not creating an app will help you reach your business growth objectives. Let’s take them one by one:
1) App or Opt?
Your app should be a means to an end, with a functionality you can’t get from a website. Unless you need less, in which case, a mobile-optimized website is the cheapest and quickest way to go.
Take a hard look at your website, and ask yourself if it should look like Angry Birds. If not, and if your app would simply be replicating your website, put the money for an app into optimizing your website for mobile browsing instead.
2) Does Your App Help Your Customers?
Your app has to make something easier for someone. Is your inventory browsable on an app, and can customers order through the app? Will your app remind your customers when their supplies are running low? The app should make doing business with you easier for everybody in your marketing ecosystem, including customers, prospects, sales people and distribution channels.
3) Will Your App Persuade A Prospect?
In your field, what turns a prospect into a buyer? And what turns you into their trusted companion on their buyer journey? Whatever it is for your industry, it’s always a direct result of being helpful. For instance, an industry-specific calculator might be a nice bonus within your app, or it could serve as an app all by itself. Think about your prospective buyers and the types of information that will keep them engaged throughout their journey.
4) Does the App Help you Maintain Business Relationships?
One of the best benefits of apps is their ability to connect you with your audience. You can push information out to them, and get instant feedback from them. Apps with community features give customers the chance to become advocates for your business.
5) Is the App Worth it?
First, some ballpark figures:
- Development: Depending on the number of platforms you want to cover, $50,000 to $250,000 seems to be the range of development costs lately.
- Deployment: Apps do not jump into your shopping cart, are rarely sold through direct mail and can often take a little digging to find. That’s why positioning your app across different digital storefronts, like iTunes, Google Play and Shopify, is vital to getting seen and getting purchased. Be sure to pay attention to chatter; it’s the most immediate way of getting unfiltered feedback on your app’s release.
- Maintenance: This is the largest part of your budget that can be undermined by scope creep. Most mobile apps push updates whenever operating systems change or new devices are released. The cost of maintaining an app for up to two years can be as much as 2.5 times the initial development. Be certain you know exactly how many platforms your app will support, and don’t hesitate to have the right conversations about money during the development process to help control your maintenance costs.
Here at MediaMark Spotlight, we’ve been matching our advances in mobile app development and mobile app marketing with savings gained by working smarter. Whenever some aspect of mobile app development jumps forward with a sub-widget that’s better, faster and cheaper, MediaMark Spotlight is on it.
MediaMark Spotlight does more than just deliver an idea or capture a brand. We take the time to learn about your customers, your company, and your goals. This allows us to capture and expand the essence of your brand, and bring it to your targeted demo powerfully, efficiently and economically. We also drive your message home through proven traditional marketing as well as next-gen digital techniques, including app development, mobile messaging, short explainer videos, and dynamic banner advertisements.