Tech companies want you to believe there’s an app for everything. They need you to want an app for everything. And some businesses have bought into the app racket, posting fairly useless versions of their website content to expensive custom apps. The other approach seems to be creating lame mobile games. I’m looking at all you hip brewhouses, restaurants and consumer brands especially. There’s no question your marketing needs to respond to the popularity of mobile devices. But do you really need an app to tell people your phone number and menu?

A better response is to invest in a mobile responsive website and make concerted efforts to claim your listings on Google Places, Yelp! and other review/recommendation websites. By completing your information in these databases, you make sure customers aren’t disappointed when they look you up by their preferred method. This the best way you can provide mobile utility for your customers. Rather than spend resources promoting your app so that you can promote your business, be where all your customers already are. They don’t need another app. They need you to be in the apps they already have.

You can still offer a custom mobile experience with responsive web design.

Your website is the most valuable marketing property you have. You already promote it heavily, your URL is posted on listings everywhere and it’s found by the search engines we all use every day. Why start over with an app and dilute the marketing resources devoted to your website? Instead, plan your next website to be mobile responsive. This means it’s the same content, same awesome website, displayed just right for each person’s device. With smart planning, a visitor’s mobile experience on your website can be just as smooth and touch friendly as an app.

I should mention another use for apps: custom productivity apps for internal use. While an app may not contribute to marketing right now, there may be internal business process you could improve with custom app software. Imagine an app that helped you make decisions by filtering through the options with you. Or think of a point-of-sale made of an iPad and your custom app. This is the real place where mobile apps can improve your business. Apps aren’t bad or good for business, they just have their place.

Still thinking you’d like an app for your marketing mix? Consider these comparisons and find the right solution for you:

  • Apps excel at performing computations and complex software tasks on specific hardware. Websites are best at displaying the same information on a variety of devices.
  • Apps don’t necessarily require Internet access to do their job. Websites depend on having a connection.
  • An app has barriers to updating it and must adhere to App Store/Google Play content requirements. A website is all yours. There’s no third party approval process and they can be quick to update with a CMS.
  • App content requires a mobile device to access and requires expensive development for both iOS and Android devices. A website is accessible from any device and you just have to build it once to see it on every device.

Here at Roundpeg, we focus on marketing services and web design. If you want to know more about how a responsive web design can help your business, get in touch. If an app is the right solution for you, we can connect you to one of Indy’s stellar app developers too. Have questions about all of this? Call us! We love to chat. Or leave a comment and we’ll reply right back.