by Rob Brandt, CEO of Red Foundry
The prevalence of mobile devices and smartphones used around the world has forced businesses to rethink the way they reach customers. The solution for many businesses is to create a mobile app. When are accessing social media content on their phone and there are billions of smartphone users worldwide, it is understandable that 90 percent of companies are planning to increase their mobile app investment in 2016.
A recent survey found that only of companies have a fully implemented mobile app strategy, and 51 percent of respondents had no strategy in place. Businesses must have a well-planned strategy in place before building an effective mobile app. Without strategy, the app will not live up to the potential a business needs to stand out in its respective industry.
Here are a few of the most important pieces of advice to consider when developing a mobile app strategy prior to app development:
1. Have a Vision.
Regardless of whether the business is small or large, has a modest budget or a seemingly infinite one, an app must have a clear vision to give a business the results it needs. Specifically, a business must have a vision in mind for its brand, the message the business wishes to convey through the app, and similar planning components. It is also worth keeping in mind how a potential customer or app user will engage with the app and, by extension, the business.
Without focusing on these considerations, it is difficult to create a quality app that meets the goals you have in mind. When it comes to setting goals related to creating something new, considering the input of a legendary artist is never a bad idea. Pablo Picasso once said, “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”
With that framework in mind, having a vision most closely translates with the vehicle of a plan that will take your app to the goal you envision.
While the vision for an app is huge, goals must be tempered by data that shows the vision is possible. Research competitors and where the industry as a whole has taken app creation. Not only will this research shed light on useful ideas for your app, it may show you creative opportunities the competition has yet to recognize. Whatever the goals you decided on for your app, these will inform how you research to make those visions turn into a reality.
Research may also identify the platforms your app should prioritize. For example, if your competitors are all using iOS, but not Android, it makes competitive sense to make an app that is compatible with both iOS and Android.
3. Think About Branding.
When it comes to the app’s name, logo and branding, understanding your target audience is critical. Mobile users have hundreds of thousands of apps cluttering their store, and cutting through that noise can be as simple as creating an eye-catching app name and logo. Grabbing the interest of the target audience is the best way to get your app downloaded onto the most devices, so think of creative ways to draw positive attention.
4. Prepare Company Infrastructure for Your New App.
Back-end infrastructure will need to be upgraded and/or rebuilt from the ground up to properly support a new app. Apps perform poorly without quality application programming interface (API) design and effective app implementation, which shatters the quality of the mobile experience.
Nothing undoes the potential of an excellent app quite like a poor user experience. To prevent your app from being deleted on mobile devices, choose the right mobile app developer to get the job done correctly when it comes to back-end infrastructure.
5. Choosing the Right Developer.
Once you understand the goals and infrastructures needed to make the app a success, it is time to find a mobile app developer that will turn your goals into a reality. Choosing a proven app developer will give you the peace of mind that you are supported from app ideation to development. Then, once finished, you know the app will be properly maintained to ensure a good experience for app users.
Ideally, the developer you choose will work with you from start to finish to ensure you have a stellar app. Then, all that is left to do is spread the word about your app and let its quality speak for itself.
With more than 25 years of technology, software, product and management experience, the goal of CEO Rob Brandt is to ensure that all Red Foundry projects run smoothly and exceed client expectations. Prior to joining Red Foundry, Brandt was a partner within Accenture’s technology consulting practice and subsequently led information technology teams focused on SaaS, data analytics and application development — and customer experience at Orbitz and TransUnion.