With the advances in technology in the last couple of years, mobile apps can now provide an enriched and interactive environment that can be used on any modern smartphone. Not only can they be used effectively for productivity gains but are powerful marketing tools as well, providing business opportunities hitherto possible in the past.
A significant drawback of the original native apps for marketing is that they require the potential customer to download and install the application. That’s tantamount to asking for a commitment well before any purchase has been made, whereas web apps, by comparison, can be accessed by any smartphone with a browser installed. This enables the customer to participate without making a commitment, makes distribution easy, and has no compatibility issues for different platforms.
A web app with a marketing focus might provide some particular features or functionality, or it might simply be the latest, tightly focused, real time content that’s much more easily accessed than on your website, and hence more likely to be viewed.
As we know, content marketing is an essential part of any online marketing strategy and a web app makes it easy to distribute new content without the need for the user to upgrade an app.
Specific functionality also can be a powerful marketing tool, and can directly enhance the customer experience.
One such application that we are currently building for a client addresses the problem of notifications to their members. In the past, they’ve used SMS as a way to contact members, but SMS messages are often considered intrusive by some recipient demographics and consequently aren’t always effective. After some research, the solution we agreed on was to build a notification app with a simple interface where members can check in on their web app at any time, or leave it open at all times, and personalize the app to only receive notifications they want. From the client’s perspective, their operational overhead is significantly reduced, and they’re meeting their members’ needs successfully.
Of course, web apps have many other advantages, including:
Cost effective – a web app solution will function across all platforms, you don’t need a separate app for Apple or Android etc
Immediacy – Web apps are instantly available, no downloading and installing required
Easy customization of content – as the content is served up from a central server, a simple editing tool allows for updates of content to be processed in quickly and easily.
Compatibility – Web apps use the smartphone browser and are compatible across all devices
Security – As web apps are hosted in a server environment, security is much easier to control
Lower development and maintenance costs – Development of web apps is typically faster than for native apps, and updates can be processed without any downloading required by the user.
At Designfort, we bring long experience to the development of an online marketing strategy. If you have an idea for an app, whether that’s for marketing or improving your customers’ experience, feel free to get in touch with us.