Digital Marketing Agency

This is where our staff and co-founders rant, rave, and reflect to give you a better insight into our agency.

Do I Need a Mobile App

Posted on: August 23rd, 2012

Mobile Apps are like the designer jeans of the digital world right now.  They are the hippest thing, and everybody wants one.  And hardly anyone knows what they actually cost to produce.  First of all, mobile devices each have their own proprietary programming language that must be learned to create a "native" (meaning, runs natively using the phone's operating system) app.  And computer programmers are an expensive, highly in demand, commodity these days, especially the ones who are skilled enough to program in multiple languages.

The thing is, not every business actually NEEDS a mobile app.  Just because you own a pair of skinny jeans and black rimmed glasses doesn't automatically mean you are supposed to move to Williamsburg (for my NY friends).  Stop and ask yourself a few questions before investing top dollar in a fancy custom app:

 

  • What would I want the app to do, and who will find it, and most importantly, who will use it and why?

 

  • Does this content need to be in an app that users will download to their phone, or can the same result be achieved with a mobile formatted website (much cheaper)?

 

  • What is the app's monetization strategy? Will people pay to use it? Is the goal just to drive them to your business and sell them later? You need some way to make your investment back.

 

  • Do I want an app just cause it's "cool" or will it actually be a benefit to my business?

 

  • Can I afford a 75-250K investment right now? (Yeah, it really does cost that much, if not more)

 


Now with that being said, EVERY business will benefit from having a mobile formatted version of their website.  It helps with SEO and drastically improves user experience when they visit your website on their phone.  But not everyone truly needs a mobile app.  Mobile apps are best used for consumer-facing products and services.  Not many B2B companies will be well served by a mobile app, and while it's enticing to think that you have a great idea that's going to get acquired for a billion bucks like Instagram, keep in mind that there are over a half million apps on the App Store alone... and then quit Dardening (inside joke).