Mobile App Initiative: Q & A for Marketing Executives

Q: How should my company approach developing a mobile business initiative?

A: Your company should approach developing a mobile business initiative in much the same way that it would approach developing any other business initiative. Identify the initiative’s goals, determine the value that the initiative will create for your consumers, and assess the relevant platforms on which you will advance the initiative. Throughout the process, you should have a developing team that you can consult, with players who understand and can program for a range of technologies within the context of your company’s mission and budget, in order to inform you what executions are possible and to offer an industry perspective on how the app can maximize its reach and best perform its function (and exceed expectations).

Q: What is the average ROI of mobile applications?

A: Even if there were a number that posed as the average ROI for mobile applications, that number would not give you an idea of what you should expect if your company were to advance a mobile initiative. Understanding both the mobile initiative’s function within the context of your company’s consumer demographic and the channels through which you will advertise the mobile experience will allow you to best gauge of what kind of ROI the app will receive. Aside from direct, fiscal returns, companies receive ROI from mobile apps in the forms of heightened consumer engagement, augmentation of an already desirable product, competitive differentiation, and savings on channels of communication that can be jettisoned due to the introduction of a mobile app. For a more in depth look at the ROI of mobile applications click here.

Q: How much should my company expect to pay for a mobile app?

A: Without an idea of what kind of app your company wishes to advance, it is impossible to determine how much it will cost. A quote from Michael Burton, Android developer for Groupon and Digg, expressed that a relatively simple to average app that takes around six weeks to develop will cost about $35,000, which is a fair estimate for both Android and iPhone platforms. However, if you would like a much more precise estimate, articulate the experience you want to build, devise a working diagram, and take the idea to developers. The more specific you are about the type of execution you want, the better the developers will be able to assess the complexity of the execution and determine a specific price. Moreover, since updates are required as operating systems improve, budget for additional development costs after the initial production.

Q: How can I make a viral app?

A: The question that every company asks when beginning to develop a mobile app is “how can we make this a viral app?”. Unfortunately there is no concrete answer but knowing your consumers is a start. Utility and entertainment value are the two attributes that give apps traction. So, knowing the wants, likes, and needs of your consumers and responding to their specifically voiced difficulties and requests is a crucial part of the “making-it-viral” process. Moreover, integrating the app with social networks is key for stimulating social sharing of in-app, branded content. Push a marketing initiative to spread awareness about your novel, sensational mobile experience and wait for the hits to come in.

Q: How do mobile apps create value for consumers?

A: Apps provide a platform for your consumers to engage with your brand on their own time, any place, anywhere. Supplying consumers with a rich experience that facilitates some aspect of business in a seamless manner will be received in the same accommodating spirit that it was given. Additional product information, price comparisons, and product reviews are welcomed by consumers who like to be informed and will show your commitment to augmenting the consumer experience and responding to consumers’ needs.

Q: What is the difference between a web app initiative and a native app initiative?

These distinct initiatives hold differences across multiple attributes including compatibility across devices, the ability to leverage device hardware capabilities, app speed, and development cost. While web apps tend to be cheaper to develop and allow for a broad reach by providing a user experience that can be accessed through any web browser, the fast, polished, and intuitive user experience that native apps provide is what draws consumers in and keeps them engaged. Running on device hardware rather than through web browsers, native apps operate offline to the ends of an elegant, dynamic experience that takes advantage of the full range of features that make mobile applications so powerful and sensational. For a more in depth look at the differences between web app and native app initiatives, click here.

Please post any questions or comments you have regarding mobile initiatives below and we will respond to your inquiries in a timely manner. From all of us at Aurnhammer, congratulations on whatever point you are at in your acclimation to the mobile space. Mobile engagement is the future.

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