Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Apps - Just Cool & Funky Extensions Or Powerful Routes To Market?

Over recent months I've been lucky to spend time with some talented leaders of different companies in the tech sphere.  Whilst we've discussed the successes and missed opportunities they've had over the past few years, the quandry of apps came up.  From a technical point of view, an app is rightly seen as an extension of functionality and accessability to deliver to your consumer. 

From my point of view, that of a marketer, it's an opportunity to get your brand noticed in one of the most vibrant market places online right now.  There are over 1.3m apps available via the Google Play Store and 1.2m via the Apple App Store.  To add further context, in June Apple announced that over 75bn apps had been downloaded.

If you get the development and usability right, your brand value and loyalty can go through the roof and when I think about 'hot brands' of the moment, they are all ones I interact with daily via my mobile devices and include; 

Evernote, Todoist, facebook, twitter, Hootsuite, Dropbox, Spotify, Teamer, Zoho, TED, Eventbrite and I'm sure many more...even my perceived value in online banking has gone up because I can access it on the go.

So What?
Ironically I've spent most of last few years talking businesses out of developing an app for their business.  Not because I didn't value apps but they simply couldn't show me the need from the consumers side.  If there's no desire there, you'll be lucky to get your app downloaded, let alone used regularly.  If you can't crack the nut of getting it used regularly, you have to question if it adds any value.

Given the cost of development for anything likely to make an impact, I've tended to recommend funds are invested elsewhere until the desire is pinpointed.

If you can find a want and need for content/function/access via an app, get it on your plan.  

Don't Put All Your Apps In One Basket
As referenced above, the app stores from Google and Apple have a similar number of apps now. According to ABI Research from 2013, the number of total apps downloaded by platform type are:

- Google Android: 58%
- Apple iOS: 33%
- Microsoft Windows Phone: 4%
- BlackBerry: 3%

Apple may see the most revenue from app downloads, but Android users download the biggest share and given the rise of Samsung in particular, you should definitely upload and optimise for both.

Optimising For App Searches
Anyone who knows me closely, understands my quest to be the most organised and effective that I can be.  I am therefore constantly on the look-out for the next great service to improve my efficiency in a certain area.  The first port of call for this is to search via keyword in the app store to see what appears top and how the ratings compare before I download to give it a try.

For more details on how to optimise for these stores, we recommend a great article on the econsultancy website which can be found here:  
https://econsultancy.com/blog/65980-app-store-optimisation-aso-for-google-play-and-apple-app-store/

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email (info@digity.co.uk) or call: 01189 100 012.

Chris Lunn
Director
Digity, Online Marketing

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