For crying out loud, do we really need more mobile apps? I’ll be the first to admit that my iPhone is infiltrated with tons of apps, all categorized into neat folders. I love apps, useful apps that is, apps that serve a purpose, apps that package an experience I won’t be able to get from anything else. But does that mean everyone and anyone should be developing apps for their products, services or brand?

Since launching the mobile development offering at Mashup Marketing, I have been contacted approximately 23 times from small businesses looking to develop a mobile app. I always listen attentively to their requirements and inspect their brief with a fine toothed comb but my response is always the same, “why do you want to build this app”? The response is always very similar; “because that’s what everyone’s doing right?”

Here are my top reasons for scrapping your mobile app idea:

  1. Apps are expensive. Development agencies require a detailed specification document. You will need wireframes, designs, development, beta testing and not to mention budget for marketing. A mobile app for Android and iOS can cost you anything from R300k to R5 million. Unless you’re a well known retailer with an established market, you will need some serious budget for an app.
  2. Every day over 10 000 apps enter the app store. What makes yours stand out from the rest? Some games do incredibly well on the app store but if your app is to merely sell your product catalogue of 50 items then a mobile friendly eCommerce store is the way to go.
  3. If this mobile app is the primary source of sales / brand awareness then I can immediately tell you it won’t work. Apps serve value to existing customers and doubles up as a sales channel but if you are a small business without an amazing mobile friendly website, social media strategy and email strategy, an app is not going to help you.
  4. No, everyone’s not doing it. Many small businesses feel this enormous pressure to keep up with everything and anything digital in order to survive. They end up focussing on all platforms but struggle to manage it effectively. If you’re a giant retailer or a well established brand then you definitely must have an app, but if you’re a small business, don’t stress about it. I promise.

My advice to small businesses and emerging brands is to focus on your business and marketing strategy first before considering anything else. Do you know and understand the purpose of your business, not what your business does, but the actual fundamental purpose? Can you confidently say who your target market and customers are and what type of things they enjoy? Knowing your business, your customers and developing a stellar communication strategy is most important in a time like now. Mobile friendly website + Content + Social media marketing + Advertising + Newsletters = the perfect marketing strategy.

Still feeling stuck? Let Mashup Marketing help you grow your brand online.

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