What makes a mobile app successful?

by Morgan Siem on November 28, 2011

in Mobile,Social Media

Companies are jumping on the mobile app bandwagon left and right. If you have a website, you’ve probably been told that the future is mobile, and that you absolutely must have a mobile site and/or mobile app.

I agree that more and more people are accessing information from mobile devices, which means that, yes, you’ll want to have a mobile strategy.

But let me emphasize the word strategy. Copy-pasting your website content into a mobile app is not a strategy. So where do you start and how do you ensure that you make a successful mobile app?

Questions to consider:

  • What is the value to my customer of using the mobile app? Is there incentive to participate?
  • How will the mobile app support our company goals? Does the app drive sales?
  • How is the mobile experience integrated with the product / in-store experience?

To give you a great example, Starbucks launched a mobile app called Starbucks Cup Magic. The reason that I call it out here is that it is very strategic from a marketing standpoint. It answers each of the above questions:

What is the value to my customer of using the mobile app? Is there incentive to participate?

The value to the customer is twofold: enjoyment / entertainment and chances to win a prize.

How will the mobile app support our company goals? Does the app drive sales?

This mobile app drives sales because customers who purchase more items to scan with their phones increase their chances of winning the prize.

How is the mobile experience integrated with the product / in-store experience?

the app has an obvious correlation with the in-store and product experience. Users must have physical Starbucks products in hand in order to use the app. The mobile application enhances the product experience and adds value to each product purchase.

 

Which mobile apps are your favorite and why?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Holly Bazemore Holly Bazemore November 28, 2011 at 9:30 pm

I think your point about strategy is extremely important Morgan. A big challenge that I see with mobile apps is that the functions are not what the users desire. I know personally I download apps for specific functions and when they are not capable of those functions I get easily discouraged. Currently my favorite app is the BB&T mobile banking app. I have had no problems with bugs or incapability with this app. It has all the features that I would desire from a banking app and is extremely efficient! Great insight Morgan!

Reply

Justin Johnson November 29, 2011 at 4:26 pm

If you ask me, mobile is something that everyone should be focusing in on now. As marketers we have to decide where to grab the consumers’ attention. In the past couple of years the term “mobile” has become much more broad. Next time you are sitting around watching television with some friends check out the amount of people who pull their phones out when a commercial pops up on the TV screen. Phones now have full web capability, email, access to every social platform, photo, video, etc. This leaves so much wiggle room for marketers when it comes to gaining mobile reach. Starbucks did an awesome job with this holiday campaign and mobile app, but I’m curious to see what some other companies who don’t have the monster budget like Starbucks can come up with. One tip I would like to throw out there would be to focus on the lifespan of the app. With the budget that Starbucks has a holiday app with a two month lifespan is no big deal, but for a company with a short leash budget wise “app lifespan” is something to pay attention to. Oh yeah, hands down my favorite app is Instagram.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Want to add a picture to your comments here on Media Two Point {OH}? Upload your picture at Gravatar to make it happen.

Your comment may be nofollow free.

Previous post:

Next post: