Close the gap: Why you need an effective mobile app - Clearly Innovative | Web and Mobile DevelopmentClearly Innovative | Web and Mobile Development

Published on June 18, 2014 in WeWork Magazine by Danielle Renton
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Imagine this: It’s a busy time at work, and you are having trouble keeping up with all of your tasks. Your phone lights up beside you with a text message and catches your eye.

After unlocking your phone, you tap the screen for the app store (Apple, Google, or whichever tickles your fancy) and search for a to-do list app to help you keep everything in order. When the results page finally loads, you find yourself faced with 1,621 applications eager to compile your to-do lists. So maybe you pick five or six to download and test out until you find the one that suits you best.

If your company doesn’t establish a mobile strategy with a clear and specific focus, chances are, your app will end up hidden among the thousands of other apps like it. It might even end up in the trash. But taking the time to create a mobile strategy significantly increases your chance for success among users.

Clearly Innovative’s Marcus Finley, Senior Mobile Solution Provider, held a workshop at WeWork Fulton Center focusing on why it’s critical to establish an effective mobile strategy. With more than 30 clients, such as NAACPNational Military Family Association, and Queens Public Library, Clearly Innovative is a mobile solutions provider that develops applications across multiple platforms.

If you weren’t able to make the meeting, don’t fret; you can still maximize your mobile strategy with these takeaways:

Why mobile?

Studies show that one in 10 people check their phone every five minutes. Just walk down a busy street in Manhattan or sit on a bench in the park. You will see more tops of people’s heads than their eyes. Why? Because they are checking the small device that has come to hold everything important to them in the world.

“People are attached to their phones,” Marcus says. “They are obsessed with their phones, but this creates opportunity.” Mobile applications have changed the way businesses interact with their customers. According to the IBM Institute for Business Value Survey 2014, 90 percent of global organizations are planning to increase investment in mobile development within the next 12 to 18 months.

“When someone shares something with you, most of the time you are on your device when you see it,” Marcus says.

What’s a mobile strategy?

Before you implement or develop an app, it’s important to consider a strategy that will help you monetize and optimize business. The Queens Public Library was looking for a way to connect with patrons in a more rich and engaging way, so Clearly Innovative helped them create an application to do just that.

“You can now do different things like download e-content using your library number that wasn’t able to be done before,” Marcus says of the new app.

“Now, there’s opportunity for them to be in every home in Queens.” Integrating mobile into its business has allowed the Queens Public Library to reach more people and achieve their overall mission.

Develop a roadmap

Why do you want to integrate a mobile platform into your business plan?

Use the answer to that question to build clear objectives. In this stage, you need to consider your audience to ensure that the app developers build the appropriate experience for the audience. When it comes to your audience, think about who your desired audience will be and the context in which they will use your app. Are they driving? Hope not. Are they walking to work? Are they reading on a tablet?

“There are so many different platforms available that you can’t get them all in one shot,” Marcus explains. “It makes sense to target where you know your fans and users will be. This is really important to make sure you’re spending your time and dollars in the right place.”

As you construct a roadmap, keep the future in mind. Marcus says that it’s important to update mobile applications every three to six months. “Over time, your users have grown new technology habits, so you want to make sure you are meeting the new standards.”

Solution identification

This is where everything really comes together. Ask yourself and your team how the application will help your consumers. What is the whole point of the introduction of an app in the first place? Marcus suggests creating a value statement in five words or less to keep your focus narrow. This will help you set your main objectives so they support your business plan.

With so many apps on the market, Marcus says there are still ways to stand out. The trick is in the planning.

“You really only have one chance, so really plan out and develop that first initial experience,” Marcus says. “The user’s first experience has to be excellent and delightful to make them want to stay.”

How Clearly Innovative can help

If you have an idea for a mobile app but haven’t figured out how to execute it, Clearly Innovative offers ideas and discovery services to help you out. If you’re looking to outsource the work, they can develop the strategy and mobile app for you.

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