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Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing- Should you Design an App or a Website?

Millions of consumers view programming, click on advertisements, read emails and interact with businesses through their mobile devices every day around the world. Options for reaching consumers on their mobile devices are expanding and becoming more affordable for businesses of all sizes. Within the mobile marketing niche, two engaging options are worth considering; mobile apps and mobile websites. When integrating mobile marketing into your company’s overall strategy, which should you invest in first?

Do you Want to Appeal to the Masses or a Specific Niche?

Mobile applications are typically designed for specific mobile devices. For example, apps that function properly on the Apple network may not be fully operational on the Android network. While small tweaks may be all that’s needed to create an app that is functional across most major networks, many businesses don’t want to invest the capital or time to create and test their apps across numerous brands. Mobile websites enable your content to reach the mass market, generally without modifications for a specific site or network.

Focusing on User Experience

Once you have decided whether to focus your efforts on a mobile app or mobile website, you need to narrow in on functionality. Mobile apps can provide feature rich functionality; they are great for focused applications, utilities and games. Mobile websites are better at delivering content and catalogs. Both options provide shopping functions to the end users and are accessible by major search engines. Since it is still somewhat easier to drive advertising traffic to mobile websites than to mobile apps, consider this if you are seeking to stretch your current online advertising dollars.

How Much Does Each Cost?

Both mobile apps and mobile websites can be designed and created using do-it-yourself platforms or through a professional individual or service. Platforms such as WordPress allow users to design, launch and manage mobile websites with little to no experience. For more advanced users, the platform also offers a number of plug-ins for site enhancements. Do-it-yourself mobile app platforms offer the coding expertise required to back-up a business’s end goals. The start-up cost for both mobile applications and mobile websites varies greatly depending upon the extent of the design, features selected, whether they are managed in-house or through a third party service and whether they are designed from scratch or a base app or site is built upon. The ongoing maintenance cost is often less for a mobile website as they can be easily updated without the need for a programmer. Mobile apps due to the ever changing world of hand-held devices often require assistance from programmers in order to stay relevant and for functionality to continue across multiple platforms (i.e. Blackberry, iPhone, Android).

If you are just starting out, a larger ROI may be seen from an investment into a mobile website. If you are seeking to expand your presence in the mobile marketing space, consider investing in an initial mobile-app. Both options will expand your online and mobile visibility.

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