Integrate Apps for your Small Business Marketing

There is little doubt that mobile devices are becoming the go-to technology for internet use. According to a research poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, 85% of American adults have a cell phone, and of those 55% of them use it to browse the web.

Further, of those who own a cell phone, the study found that 31% say they use their phones as their primary tool for web browsing.

Add to this number the fact that 25% of American adults own some type of internet-connected tablet and it is easy to realize the importance of creating a business web presence that is conducive to viewing on mobile devices.

There are a number of potential solutions for small business owners looking for a mobile-friendly web presence, including mobile-specific templates or new technologies called responsive web design that automatically adjust a website to a mobile-device’s browser.

Another possible solution, and one gaining momentum, is for businesses to create apps specific to their business.

Apps—short for applications—are self-contained programs meant to be installed on mobile devices (phones or tablets) and which use the internet for updating and sorting information.

Apps are made for just about every purpose you could think of, from photography to flashlights, but some businesses are using them as replacements for mobile websites.

From a user’s perspective it may make sense to use an app instead of a mobile or standard website. Because apps are self-contained, information loads quickly and since they are specifically made for mobile devices they are easily used on small, touch-screen interfaces.

And according to an early 2012 study, 49% of mobile device users (phones and tablet) use apps to help find local information.

It would make sense to make one then, would it not?

The answer is maybe. First of all realize that apps cannot replace a complete website—not if the website has a lot of information.

I found this out while directing the online presence of New Mexico Tech. We discussed mobile solutions and the possibility of creating an app for the school. However, with over thirty thousand pages of information it would be impossible to try to account for everything.

Another consideration is the user. What exactly do they want to do? Applications, after all, need to have a purpose to which they can be applied. So what is the purpose of the app and is it something a user might want?

Again, from the perspective of a university, many different users will have different purposes. A brand new student will need certain information that the fan of the basketball team will not. A necessary step then is to understand what information or tool your users are trying to access most often, and then provide that in an app for them.

There are dozens of online resources to help you build your own app, so certainly explore those. And likewise there are just as many agencies and third-parties providing services as well.

In either case apps are something worth exploring for your business. Especially if the prospect of reaching 40% of the population excites you.

Word One Consulting
clint @
2263 S. Main
Las Cruces, NM 88005