The case for creating mobile apps for business is strong, but like anything, there are good and bad ways to go about it. We know now that 23 percent of all apps are used only once but also that 39 percent of apps are used 11 times or more. Timing and circumstance will strongly determine on which side of the statistics your apps will be.
1. You have a business problem to solve or an optimization to make.
The most successful apps aren’t created because businesses had a channel to fill, but because there was an opportunity to optimize a process.
If this is your company’s first app, the key is to not overthink what it needs to do: Apps are best when they serve a single purpose. You don’t need an app that does everything or has an eternal lifespan, but instead you must identify a short- or long-term purpose and determine how best to get there.
2. You know your audience would love an app.
Does your audience look anything like this?
Check their phone often
Love your content, often ask you for more
Demand seasonal offers/event invitations/time-limited/loyalty opportunities
Want above-and-beyond customer service from you
Bonus: Are already using the competition’s app(s)
If it does, then your audience is a perfect fit for an app.
3. You want to be seen as innovative and cutting-edge.
Very few things say “innovative” louder than companies going “mobile-first”. Using apps shows that your business is willing to innovate, rather than stick with the norm.
For example, your clients would probably be impressed if you started using tablets for meetings. They might expect you to use PowerPoint or printed materials, so they would notice if you take a fresher approach.
In fact, many companies use apps more for the wow factor than because they have perfect app use cases. And, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. No company can adopt a new technology and use it perfectly from the outset. Getting used to the channel is part of figuring it out and getting great at it.
4. Your competition is getting ahead of you with apps.
Nothing springs innovation faster than the competition adopting new technologies. The more the technology grows, the more you’re going to get questions and requests from stakeholders. It might sound obvious, but most people in large companies strongly believe that enterprise mobile apps drive competitive advantage.
So, if your reason for launching apps is that “others are doing it,” we can confirm that’s a good reason indeed. No one wants to be the laggard, do they?
5. You’re borrowing an app idea from the competition and improving on it.
Following up from before, if you want to jump on the app bandwagon because your competition is all over it, and you have a great idea for differentiating your app, then you should go right ahead. You might have a zero-to-hero kind of situation in your hands.