Do I need an app to connect to my market?

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Written by: Immedia

With over 6 billion mobile subscribers, the digital marketplace and the way audiences consume media have changed. With the ability to consume media at their leisure, consumers are now in control what they search for, how they interact with media and to what extent. If both the consumer and the technology they use have changed, then it only makes sense that your business follows suit.

The informed consumer

Changing your digital strategy gives you the potential to reach an audience that has already bought into the concept of apps and is already active in the app marketplace. Post-PC technology has empowered and equipped audiences with up-to-date, reliable decision-making tools. Today’s consumer is privy to an endless supply of information at their fingertips, allowing them the opportunity to make informed decisions based on readily available information and peer reviews.

This means that audiences are now more fragmented and mass messaging is no longer as powerful in reaching your target audience. Apart from allowing consumers to pick and choose the information they want to consume, new media like apps and social media enable consumers to be vocal in their appreciation and dissatisfaction of a service or product. With audiences choosing different devices and operating systems, they are also choosing different app store and methods to consume media.

Research shows that users are actively moving away from browser-based sites and that usage on mobile apps have exceeded websites by more than 20 minutes per day. Some of the reasons consumers are opting for mobile apps as opposed to going onto websites, are their usefulness when offline or on flaky data connections; a pre-downloaded app that one can access at any time increases the likelihood of it being viewed. In an already time-starved world, mobile apps save a consumer time as they’re often designed for one specific purpose.

An app is not a website

One of the more common misconceptions about apps is that they are simply websites that have been optimised for a phone. Apps allow for greater functionality, providing users with enhanced product engagement and quicker results. Simply put: a potential customer can go to your website to read up on your business and product, and could then easily and securely purchase the product via your app.

Apps give you a direct line to your customer. By taking advantage of push notification technology, you can send your customers important information in real-time, straight to their phone, for a fraction of the cost of an SMS or email campaign. The response rate on push notifications is currently three times higher than emails and SMS, making post-PC technology significantly more effective as a communication tool.

Yes, websites allow you to speak to potential consumers, but people prefer a predictable and immediate level of service. By giving your customer a simple and direct way to provide feedback, apps empower you to better meet the needs of your consumer whilst also providing them with a means to engage in productive dialogue with you.

Why an app could work for your business

According to Mashable, apps open new shopping and engagement opportunities such as  the ability to send through a push notification to remind a user of an abandoned shopping cart or storing login and billing information. This provides users with the opportunity to transact at their convenience and also ensure that they are reminded of your service offering without you having to advertise or require them to be in the store.

Launching an app that clearly meets customers’ expectations can also lend more credibility to a brand in the emerging post-PC marketplace, by demonstrating an understanding and a willingness to embrace a changing digital market.

Having an app as an addition to your marketing arsenal doesn’t mean that you need to change your essential business principles. Your app will allow you to do what you do, but better – it will help provide the best service to your customer by creating a real-time, always-on service point.
Think before you create an app

The development of an app isn’t necessarily the be-all and end-all to optimising your digital strategy. A well-designed app causes a positive impact on the organisation by helping staff become more efficient at what they do, and in turn servicing the customer better. Therefore creating an effective app is not just a technical solution – it needs to involve buy-in, support and input from many stakeholders within the organisation, and can be a costly exercise.

From Information week: “…what’s missing in the enterprise space is an overall mobile strategy and an understanding of how an app will help both users and the company offering the app.” Before taking that leap and investing time and resources into creating an app, it helps to unpack how such a tool can holistically empower your organisation to best serve your needs.

Because we understand that every company is different and requires tailored solutions, post-PC solutions agency immedia helps organisations step-by-step through their digital transition, by collaborating together with your ideas rather than proposing a rinse-and-repeat solution. Book a strategic consulting session with us, and let us help you arrive at the best solution for your individual needs.


 

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