How Marketers Can Navigate the Mobile App Maze
August 4, 2016
Let’s talk about what marketers need to know about mobile apps. Marketers are pretty savvy when it comes to new trends and technologies. But for some, mobile is a confusing, intimidating prospect filled with technical terminologies that most marketing majors never learned before entering the real world. Words like “martech” and “responsive” and “mobile-optimized” and “programmatic” are becoming pervasive terms. It’s a lot to take in, and knowing where to start can be difficult.
But as marketers, our organizations rely on us to stay on top of the most effective way to engage our audiences and to develop data-backed strategies to meet those audiences where they are. And let me tell you- those audiences are on mobile. As of June 2015, users downloaded more than 100 billion mobile apps from the Apple App Store alone. That doesn’t include Android which has more users globally than Apple.
Some organizations are struggling to find their way in a mobile universe. Recently, eMarketer reported “63% of marketing executives said their business is currently less than 20% mobile, but just 24% of respondents expect that to be the case two years from now.” Marketers must lead the charge in bringing our companies to the forefront of mobile in our industries. How do you become the subject matter expert that your boss turns to when it’s time to develop a mobile strategy?
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Our lack of familiarity can’t be what holds our organizations back. As a marketer in the technology space, I’ve had to dive in and figure some of these things out. I’m not very technical at all. But thankfully, vast amounts of information exist on the Internet to help educate me and my fellow marketers about all of the technology that exists to help make our jobs easier and reach our audiences in deeper, more meaningful ways.
Mobile is one area that many marketers either take for granted, have some knowledge of, or are intimidated by. I get it. When I joined stable|kernel, I knew nothing about mobile apps other than how to download one from the App Store. I definitely didn’t know anything about software development. But I knew mobile was hot, and this company would challenge me to step up and master a working knowledge of how apps work, how they are designed and developed, and the many different reasons for bringing an app to market. Apps aren’t just for checking in at my favorite restaurant or updating my social networks in real time.
Apps create real value. From time-saving activities like check depositing through a banking app, task management through Wunderlist or Trello, navigation with Waze and effortless grocery shopping through Instacart, apps help us get things done professionally and personally!
So here’s what marketers need to know about mobile apps
For years, we’ve looked to mobile marketing experts for their advice for reaching customers through mobile. But in this “mobile first” world we live in, there is no more “mobile marketing.” It’s just marketing. Our customers – be they consumers or business audiences – are on mobile all day long. Their device is never out of reach. What an opportunity! We have an immediate access to our target audiences at any time of the day. All we have to do is engage them. So that’s where apps come in. Yahoo’s Flurry says 90% of all our time spent on mobile is spent in apps.
What better way to engage your consumers than by simple, useful, delightful apps? Mobile apps are one of the many platforms your brand must leverage to create an omni-channel experience that deepens your relationship with your customers. By providing value to them, your customers will thank you by coming back to your app, and therefore your brand, over and over and over.
An introduction to native apps
But what if you don’t understand how apps work? How do you learn? We’ve got your back. Recently, we collaborated with mCordis, the strategic mobile and connected marketing education and advisory services company, to create a marketing education mini-series designed to help marketers and business professionals get caught up to speed on how mobile apps work, and how to think about incorporating them into your business strategy.
“The demand for education through online ‘micro-learning’ has been growing steadily and we have been exploring our options for development and delivery,” said mCordis Co-Founder Paul Berney. “Last year we delivered an internal training course for a client which has been taken over 5,000 times. It was time for us to take that content public, but we wanted partners like stable|kernel who understand the value in educating the marketplace.”
The short, free course which launched this week provides an overview of native mobile applications. It explains why they are important, how they are developed, launched and marketed. The course (30-minute) is split into nine short video modules:
- Scoping Apps
- Designing Apps
- Developing Apps
- App Monetization
- App Store Optimization (ASO)
- App Analytics
- App Promotion
- Further Learning
Take our video series for a spin – you will learn some key design and development terms and principles that can make launching a mobile app or engaging an app development partner a less daunting challenge. Invest a few moments in your professional education. You may eventually find yourself to be your company’s in-house mobile expert. Marketers who master mobile and the technology that fuels the mobile experience will lead communication strategies and ultimately, will create more business value in their organizations.