“There’s an app for that!” This iconic phrase coined (and later trademarked) by Apple in the mid-2000’s has shown to be borderline prophetic as the rest of the mobile phone market followed suit with a top priority on their developer ecosystems.
From 2011-2017, the Apple App Store alone saw in increase of over 2 million new apps approved for circulation. The rise of apps has breathed new life into the industries of gaming, banking technology, social media, and just about everything in between. What was once perceived as a novelty or reserved tactic for only the largest companies has now become an accessible and pivotal part of marketing strategies across the board.
Why the rapid shift to an app-centric mobile experience? There are a handful of reasons that make these custom brand conduits a great fit for your business objectives.
Mobile Web vs. Mobile Apps
Before Apple’s big app push, the primary concern for most mobile developers was the mobile web. In the age of Blackberries, early iPhones, and even some lucky semi-smart phones (looking at you, my old LG EnV from college), apps were still in their relative infancy and mobile web browsing was the current cutting edge.
Nowadays, the tide has completely shifted. As of 2017, 80-90% of all time on smartphones worldwide was spent on mobile apps. This leaves just a mere 10-20% of consumers’ overall connected time spent on mobile web browsing.
Now, this is not to say that having a properly optimized mobile site is not a priority. With sites like Google factoring the responsiveness of your site’s design into rankings, this adaptability can greatly increase your chances of being found. However, consumer’s active minutes after the awareness stages are overwhelmingly spent in the app sphere.
Top-of-Mind Brand Awareness
As you unlock your phone throughout the day, what is the first thing you see? Aside from the cute picture of your cat in the background, I’m willing to wager most of you will have a home screen stocked with carefully organized apps. The default design for our phones provides an awareness haven for app developers. By having your brand in a mobile app, your audience will be reminded of you every time they use their phone.
In addition to the aesthetics of awareness, mobile apps provide direct access to your customers in ways that many marketing avenues could only dream of. Push notifications have become an integral way to drive improvements in app retention, in-app purchases, and other important conversions.
The flip side is also true, with an app providing the ability for a consumer to connect with your brand like never before. The personalized nature of simple elements such as click-to-call customer service directors, live chats, and tailored features, provide a sense of individual attention to your app’s users. In the case of higher education, 87% of prospective students surveyed said that the availability of personalized tech such as apps was heavily weighted in their decision to enroll.
Simplify Your Core Functions
A mobile app gives you the ability to build out a robust ecosystem for your brand, but don’t fall into the trap of making yours a catchall. The most successful apps focus on fulfilling one central mission through several core features. For example, online banking apps typically focus on account management and the key features needed to make that a holistic experience.
The process of honing in what your app should offer allows you to get an accurate pulse on what matters most to your user base. This knowledge can play into your marketing strategy as a whole, highlighting these valued services across your marketing both in and out of the app.
Apps as a whole have become an integral part of digital marketing strategies that cannot be ignored or written off. By not claiming your space in the app sphere and on your audience’s home screens, you may be missing valuable interaction with those most engaged with your brand.
Talk with us today to learn how an app prototyping session with us can work for your strategy.
This post originally appeared on the Incentric Digital Marketing blog.
Ryan is an Account Executive at RDW Group. Living his career on the digital frontier since ‘poking’ was social currency, he is ever on the pulse of the integrated mindset. Outside the office he can be found running silly distances to the beats of electronic music, capturing life through a camera lens, and soaking in the hop cologne at RI’s bountiful local breweries.