The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has put together a list of 10 things everyone should know about mobile applications, or at least, its got 10 of its members to think of one each. Were happy to share their advice with you...
1. Only do apps when you need more
Compared to browsing, mobile apps offer a richer level of user interaction, allowing more complex graphics, media and information to be presented. They also provide a more robust and secure environment for user engagement. But, if you can deliver what you are trying to achieve through a browser, you will be able to reach far more consumers. Jeremy Copp, CEO, Rapid Mobile Media Ltd
2. Tell people about your app
Dont just rely on app stores; you can distribute apps via mobile sites, operators and through multiple ad placements and formats for maximum impact and reach. Theo Theodorou, EMEA Sales Manager, Mobile Advertising, Microsoft Advertising
3. Think further than the iPhone
The iPhone offers fantastic functionality for developers and users alike, and apps developed for the platform are eminently PR-able, and are often shared virally. It has a fast growing user base, and reaches relatively wealthy 25-44 year olds, who actively use mobile media very well. But also developing a java version, optimised to work over a wide range of handsets, including BlackBerrys, will give you a far greater potential reach.
Mark Angell, Business Development Director, Marvellous
4. Get the balance right
There are two fundamental balances to achieve. Firstly, business objectives versus user needs: for the application to be effective, the business needs must carefully consider the user, as well as commercial objectives. Secondly, the three Es (Engagement, Entertainment and Effectiveness): functional apps often outlast the usage of entertainment-based apps.
Paul Taylor, Strategist & Planner, COI
5. Consider the average app user
There are 8.7 million people who have used a downloaded app in the UK, which is 18% of mobile users. 60% of these users are playing games that they have downloaded. The median age of an app user is 32 years old, and 43% are female. 36% of app users own Smartphones, compared to 15% of the total market.
Alistair Hill, Analyst and Mobile Products, Europe, comScore
6. Brand-building versus sales
Free applications get the most downloads, whereas paid-for applications generate revenue. Knowing whether you are branding or selling is a key point when launching your first application.
Ross Butler, Creative, Parrott and Miller
7. Product longevity is essential
Every service needs a roadmap, no matter how basic. Customers will quickly get bored with a uni-functional app which has no new features or capability added over time. By adding functionality as time goes on, you can create brand advocacy.
Christian Harris, CEO, Gorillabox
8. Send them in the right direction
Ads in existing applications are a great place to advertise, but make sure that the destination site is optimised for mobile. If it isnt, then you risk low conversion and a poor perception of your brand.
Jonathan Abraham, Brand Sales Director, AdMob
9. Test, test and test again
If a customer can access it on their handset it needs to work. If it doesnt, it will do more damage than good to your brand. Invite feedback, and always read customer reviews, to ensure you are meeting the needs of your consumer.
Oliver Newton, Head of Emerging Platforms, i-level
10. Be on brand
Just as with any form of communication, ensure that your app is on brand. Tone of voice, brand values, message, production values and brand fit are essential in making a great brand application.
Kieron Matthews, Marketing Director, IAB