Saturday, December 12, 2009

Does Your App Measure Up?

So many apps, so little time. Does your app measure up as a marketing add-on?
  1. An app must deliver user value. Your app must be more than a one-time gimmick to retain the user's attention and be allowed to take up space on an electronic device. Think about the problem it will help users solve, the convenience it will offer, the time or money it will save users. Will your app help users compare products, check prices, save time, replace a phone call or a personal visit? Will it help users achieve a personal or professional goal? Of course apps must also be attractive, professional, and even entertaining, not just functional.
  2. An app must add value to your marketing. Don't jump on the app bandwagon just because everyone else is doing it. An app must help you achieve your marketing objectives, if only in some small way. Or it must help reduce/remove barriers to achieving your objectives. Your app should not create a lot of extra work for you and your staff, or increase costs without a corresponding increase in sales or customer relationships. The bottom line is that an app isn't right for you if it doesn't bring your business some benefits.
  3. Know what you want to achieve. Are you trying to boost traffic to your retail web site? Promote a specific offering? Increase referral business? Also define the ways in which you'll measure progress toward your objectives and how often you plan to check progress with appropriate metrics. Otherwise, your app will be a tactic in search of a strategy.
Small businesses are starting to leverage apps for marketing advantage. A recent WSJ article mentioned a Honda dealer in Ohio that offers an app for users to view photos and videos of cars for sale and to make service appointments. An app offered by the Founding Farmers restaurant in Washington, D.C., lets users reserve tables or book a party. These are only a few examples of apps that measure up.

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