Should App Marketing be a Part of Your Startegy?

22 October 2012

The popularity of apps makes app marketing seem like a natural choice for many businesses.

Smartphone and tablet users may be crazy about their apps — 40 billion apps downloads from the App Store and Google Play confirm that — but that doesn’t mean they will download branded apps, according to a new study.

A Forrester study, “Mobile Apps for Marketing,” reveals certain factors should be considered before beginning app development.

Only 43 percent of American Smartphone owners have apps on their devices — roughly 39 percent of all online adults. Only nine percent of tablet owners use apps. Popular app categories are weather, navigation, social networking and games.

New apps in other categories would require an investment in marketing to promote an app.

So how do you decided if app marketing should be part of your advertising strategy? Find out if your target audience is using apps.

Approximately two-thirds of your potential app audience is those aged 50 and younger, the study shows. Only 19 percent of older adults use mobile apps.

Marketers should also consider if mobile users would use the app more than once, the report suggests.

Sixty-eight percent of Smartphone owners open only five or less apps at least once a week, Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project survey revealed earlier this year.

If you do decide to create an app, the Forrester study suggests marketers follow a four-point “addressability framework” to ensure your app isn’t used once and deleted.

First, determine who the intended app customers are: possible new users or brand loyalists in search of rewards, the study says. Then, decide on  app context — where and when users will access it. Next, discover the need your app will fulfill before choosing the appropriate technology to suit the app. Lastly, you must decide whether or not you want to build a native app or use Web technologies like HTML.

When it comes to Smartphone versus tablet apps, the report stressed phone apps are great for shorter interactions while people are on the go. Tablets, however, offer a more relaxed experience for reading content.

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