Creating a mobile app for your business is a strategic decision. Not only does it have implications for the image of your brand, but it also has a direct relation with the way customers interact with your products or services. Naturally, for such an important decision, adequate planning at the highest level of the organization is required.
There are more than 1 million apps on both The App Store and Google Play. However, there’s no shortage of business and corporate apps on both these platforms with just a few hundred downloads (in many cases, even less than that). Justifiably, most of them can be considered failures from a business perspective.
Therefore, it is important that companies avoid all the possible strategic and operational sinkholes found in failed apps that can negatively impact performance and user experience. To ensure that you do not create a forgettable mobile app, like many other companies, avoid these mistakes.
1. Mobile App Without a Clear Business Objective
Simply because everyone else is building a mobile app does not mean you have to get one as well. Before making your move, connect the dots first. Building an app is not an objective itself, it is a platform to achieve your actual business goals. An app is a means to completing your business goals. This is a simple, but often forgotten notion.
The business goal has been lost
Your app needs to contribute directly or indirectly to your primary objectives. Make sure you have clear KPIs and objectives that you want to achieve through the app.
2. Irrelevant to the Target Market
You can build an eye-catching and advanced mobile app that links directly with your business objectives, but if it’s not relevant to your target market, your potential customers will not use it. Think from your customer’s perspective. Why would they want to fill their phone with apps they don’t find useful?
Customers do not care about your business objectives, they use apps for their common problems. So, rather than solely seeking customer demographics, seek to fill a niche in your customer’s life.
Solution: Build your brand persona
The secret here is to link your business objectives with the preferences of your target audience. Build your brand persona and research your ideal customer. Give them something useful.
3. Too Many Features
Beware of putting a large volume of features in your app. It may be difficult to navigate, which makes it less usable for your customer.
There is too much
A quick look at some of the more successful business mobile apps will tell you how focusing on a few key features, that address particular problems, is much more effective than adding too many features in your app. Run a few surveys on your target market and study their preference patterns. Short-list their three top problems and create an app that specifically resolves one of them.
Keep it simple.
If secondary problems can also be resolved with the same set of features, great, otherwise don’t complicate your app by trying to offer a solution for all the problems. You will end up resolving none of them.
4. Not Enough Marketing
Creating a useful, high value app is only one part of the equation. But without aggressive marketing, nobody would even know your app exists. They assume that listing their app on app stores is enough to get downloads. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple.
No one knows about it
You need to make your app as visible as possible by listing it on your website and using content marketing for app promotion. Mention it in your blog posts, promote it with guest blogging, notify your email subscribers and reach out to industry influencers to let the world know about your app. Without this, your only app users will be your employees.
5. Forcing Users To Download
Nothing is more irritating than a website forcing its users to download its mobile app. Companies that do not offer a mobile version of their website and instead force their users to download their app often experience higher bounce rates and irritated users. You might get some extra downloads with this approach, but you’re more likely to lose customers as a result.
Promote your app aggressively, and encourage users to download it, but always give them the option to browse the full version of the website as well.
6. Not Updating After the App Release
No matter how well you have planned your app structure and user experience, there are bound to be some areas for improvement. Your job is not done after releasing the app. Post-release is also critical because if the initial response of your users is negative, and you do not aggressively move to rectify it, your company’s image may suffer. A large number of companies never release a updated version of their app which proves to be a costly mistake.
Solution: Continue to monitor
Keep an eye on the user reviews and suggestions that your app receives. Look for improvement areas both in the functionality and compatibility of your app.
In order to benefit from your app, you need to perceive it as a powerful platform for achieving your business objectives, not as an objective in itself. If you get this part right, and correctly identify the real needs of your target market, other components of your mobile marketing strategy will fall into place seamlessly.