Published on 1 July 2012 (Updated 1 July 2012)
The rise of the mobile has been incredible since 2009. Yes: 6 out of 10 French people were mobile users in 2016. This has led to an explosion in the number of mobile apps available on the stores (directories of apps open for download) with the massive figure of 3.6 million apps surpassed in 2017 on Apple’s famous AppStore.
Today, owning an app has become a key success factor for every company, but do they really respond to a strategic choice to diversify communication channels or do they reflect merely a desire to keep up with the times?
Two stores share nearly 95% of the market, better known as the AppStore and Google Play (formerly Android Market). The first is developed by Apple, and its applications are available exclusively on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod; the second is developed by Google, and this time can be found on various brands of smartphones such as Samsung, LG, HTC…
Why build a mobile application?
Which mobile application strategy to choose?
The purpose of launching an adapted mobile application :
- The desire to develop your brand image and reputation
Indeed, the mere presence of your application on a store will ensure brand awareness.
- Win new market share by acquiring new customers.
How can I make my application indispensable to my mobile user?
- Retaining existing customers
Thanks to the “Push” reminder systems, for example, which are more effective than a simple newsletter.
- Acquiring new revenues (m-commerce, advertising, monetization)
Monetization can generate substantial revenues (paid application on the store, in-app purchases, etc.).
This strategy is determined according to your target audience and your activities. Through this strategy, we can imagine and integrate relevant tools and functionalities into your application.
Beware of the mobile app fad
Before embarking on a mobile strategy, you need to ask yourself the right questions:
- What added value am I going to offer mobile users?
How can I make my application useful in the everyday life of my mobile users?
- Does my mobile application project have enough features to do me any good?
Beware of the bad image that an app devoid of added value might give.
It’s important to ensure that the company’s assets and the smartphone’s functionalities, such as geolocation, data sharing and photography, complement each other. These are all features that will heighten the mobile users’ interest in your products. Once again, the mobile application must provide real added value for both the company and the mobile users, in order to be profitable in the construction of your “media mix”.
Responding to the needs of mobile users and renewing yourself
Creating a mobile application fosters a relationship of trust with your customers. This relationship marketing is profitable for the company, and can ensure the long-term development of your business on this new channel. You’ll also benefit from a customer reminder system with the best possible open rate (push reminders: sending a notification to mobile users who have your mobile application).
However, a mobile application is not necessarily a guarantee of success. In fact, it has been found that almost 85% of applications are no longer used, or are deleted after just one month of use. In this case, you’ll need to renew your products and functionalities.
Choosing the right media for your target audience is one of the keys to success. Professionals are more likely to be affected by the Blackberry RIM system. The consumer market, on the other hand, is more interested in the AppStore and Google Play. That’s why, overall, the creation of an application enables you to reach an extremely wide and diverse target.
Monetizing your application
Finally, the question of whether your mobile application is free or not: 80% of applications are downloaded free of charge today. When it comes to advertising space sold through apps, without significant traffic, the business model is unprofitable.
A game may adopt a dual strategy: pay-per-download + in-app purchases for options, for example.
For other sectors, it may be more clever to offer free downloads to attract users, and then offer in-app purchases for certain parts of the application (in the case of a GPS application, the application may be free, and the traffic information at 20 euros ex. tax/month, for example – known as Freemium).
Your monetization strategy will therefore depend on your products, and once again, on your target audience.