When a business makes the decision to take the plunge into the world of mobile app development, it’s understandable that they’d want as quick a turnaround as possible. Diving in headfirst and getting an app developed and deployed at lightning speed may seem like a cost-effective plan, but in reality, the best way to approach mobile app development is to carefully craft a strategy first.
Strategically planning out what a new mobile app will do and how it will fit into your company’s overall business plan is actually a much more cost-effective route to take. It reduces and sometimes even eliminates the risk of developing an app that never quite catches on, or that doesn’t quite perform as expected. Only an app designed with a clear strategy in mind can result in real ROI.
There are four basic steps to crafting a mobile app development strategy. Through careful consideration of your company’s goals, and the ways in which you want your new mobile app to help you achieve them, your venture into mobility will be much more successful. Use the following guidelines as a tool to assist in your strategizing.
1. Establish the user profile. You already have a profile in place for your company’s ideal customer; now determine the same for the ideal user of your customer-facing app. Which demographic will your app appeal to? What are their interests, their needs, their pain points? What kind of app will they find not only useful but so valuable as to be irresistible?
For employee-facing apps, which workers will have access to this app? What do they need to be able to accomplish while away from their desks? What sort of app would they find to be such a time saver and a productivity booster that it will virtually guarantee widespread use?
2. Define the data to be made available through the mobile app. The most important thing to keep in mind when deciding what data to make available through your new app is that users do not expect apps to be do-all solutions. Trying to incorporate too much functionality and data into one app is a mistake because it will make the app unwieldy and difficult to navigate. Users prefer a straightforward app that is simple and intuitive to use.
3. Design the data security protocol. Security is one of the most important considerations for a new app, so it must be incorporated into the strategy, as well. How will your company’s private data be protected? How will users’ data remain safe?
4. Decide how to leverage the data generated by the mobile app to make business decisions. Once your app has been deployed and is in use, you’ll be collecting stunning amounts of data about its users. What do you plan to do with that data? How will it play a role in shaping your business decisions?
The fact is, creating a mobile app too quickly, without investing enough thought into the process, will not deliver results. As with any facet of business, a strategy must be developed in order to produce a true ROI. Mobility is nothing more than a tool. It’s what you do with that tool that determines its success.
Lacey earned a B.A. from Baylor University. Sic'em!
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