The Internet is developing in many different directions and each of them can be smartly used for improved business efficiency. While launching websites and business pages on social media are undoubtedly important features for every small business, the current popularity of gadgets draw special attention to that field of marketing.
The number of mobile phone users has reached 5.07 billion in 2019. Therefore, increasing the role of mobile apps in your everyday business tasks isn’t only important for your contemporary projects, but it’s also an investment for the future.
Indeed, mobile Apps can almost be considered the ‘new website’ for some companies and many reputable businesses have already successfully launched their own – placing them at the cutting edge of their market, whilst helping them maintain customer loyalty and increase the quality and quantity of the sales leads they generate.
For B2B companies, mobile Apps are becoming increasingly popular as they allow users to accomplish regular business operations more effortlessly, such as checking up on outsourced tasks (project management Apps) or demonstrating new products (catalogue Apps) without the need to sit at a desk or carry a laptop all the time.
What should a mobile App offer?
One thing an App shouldn’t be is a carbon copy of your company’s website. It’s been found that mobile Apps have a very different user emotion behind them than traditional desktop applications, with the view that they are predominantly there to make things easier, more accessible and simplifying processes whilst on the move.
A successful mobile App, therefore, needs to solve a problem or fulfill a particular purpose whilst catering for the needs of the end user.
But developing an app for your business is not a simple process. It is for the most part expensive and time-consuming; you have to keep it updated with the operating systems of mobile devices and introduce something new every now and then to keep your clients and potential business leads engaged.
Advantages of app Development
- A high percentage of the population use smartphone technology and are app savvy.
- Apps keep your brand prominent in the market place, ahead of the competition.
- Apps help increase customer retention and loyalty, as they are always at hand, the first port of call.
- Users tend to spend longer on Apps than on portfolio websites.
- App technology allows you to demonstrate products and services more creatively, connect with clients, provide more in-depth information and give users a better customer experience.
- Apps usually load faster than mobile sites.
- Mobile apps are available offline apart from transactions where users will need to log-in.
- Their specific use can be targeted to different users – dealers/customers /end-users/ staff.
- Most Apps are easy to use: training your mobile workforce to use them will take very little time and effort.
- Apps can be easily downloaded by your B2B sales leads from app stores such as iTunes, Google Play, and Facebook’s app store.
- Once business clients use your App (especially if it is web-based), you can stay connected wherever your clients are. You can glean valuable user-generated data from your app that could help you create even more targeted lead generation marketing campaigns in the future.
- When you compare the cost of printing and mailing brochures, catalog Apps or those specifically intended to demonstrate products/services, make a lot of sense.
- Environmentally friendly – Apps can create less need for paper transactions or sales literature for example
Disadvantages of App Development
- High cost and maintenance are required as the app should be designed for each platform – Android, Windows, iPhone.
- They need to be constantly updated (both for the technology and the content).
- It’s tougher to optimize mobile apps as compared to mobile websites.
- With each addition of functionality/feature, the cost keeps increasing. Also, it becomes tougher to update.
- If the app is buggy, then the brand reputation is on the line.
- A lot of data (especially the contact info from leads) needs to be handled as every day passes by for which a CRM would be required. One such excellent all-in-one CRM for startups is Agile CRM.
Aside from the disadvantages listed above, if you have a website with thousands of unique visitors and generating a good crop of leads you might think an App is superfluous to needs. With the mobile browser still the most versatile application around it makes sense to optimize its use when it comes to achieving B2B mobile marketing success – it’s readily available and cheap to access.
By making sure your website has responsive design, is suitable across all platforms and displays correctly in different mobile browsers, your customers can have a pleasant mobile experience without the need to download an App first. Additionally, you negate the cost of creating one.
However, without a mobile-optimized website, the mobile user experience is far from perfect. It can be frustrating and time wasting to use and can be enough to put someone off interacting with your brand. Additionally, the majority of B2B websites tend to act as portfolios for their company – product or service led with very little actual benefit to the customer.
Websites can be limiting with regards to what you can get your website to do and who you can get it to target.
An App allows your company to present itself in a different way – offer your customer or end user something more.
Mobile application development is still a relatively new marketing channel for marketers, but this is also why it offers a lot of untapped potential for businesses allowing you to stay front of the market and ahead of your competition. With a little creative thinking, focusing on targeting your user’s needs and solving potential problems, an app can go a long way to improving your business goals.
Smart Mobile devices make communication so much simpler. Having a mobile application for your business is the first step to allowing smooth communication between you and your customers. Click here for more information.