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App-nesia

Posted by | B2B marketing, Mobile

There’s an App for pretty much everything these days. While I love having Apps for the things I use the most – from Facebook and the indispensable Google maps, to mobile banking, ordering taxis and the weather (in Manchester a weather App is a must!) – have we reached App overload?

So relentless are Apps for consumer brands that I often forget that I’ve even downloaded them, and it seems I’m not the only one. Dubbed ‘App-nesia’, a large number of people are downloading Apps for one-off uses. Sound familiar? You’re prompted to download the App when visiting a website, and then rarely engage with it again, or at worst you delete it and cut off contact with the brand.

So what’s the purpose of Apps in our fast-changing digital world? Apps should encourage a deeper engagement with your brand, after all, the user has gone to the trouble of downloading the App in the first place so must be sufficiently interested in what you have to offer.

So with this in mind, how can you avoid the dreaded App-nesia?

– Purpose: develop Apps that serve a specific, offer useful and relevant functionality for the user, whether that’s ease of ordering for your customers, reading content on-the-move, sourcing information and networking before an event, or ease of adding CRM data for your sales team while out on the road.

– Remind: try using push notifications on a sufficiently regular basis to remain in front of your users, for example offers and promotions, or new products and services based on their browsing behaviour.

– Quality: sounds obvious, but make sure you develop a high quality App in the first place so that customers can’t forget about you. Don’t develop an App for Apps sake – start by thinking about the true value it will deliver to the user experience.

Apps haven’t really taken off in b2b marketing in the same way as they have for consumer products and services. And that’s perhaps understandable due to the niche markets that b2b brands often operate in, the more transactional nature of Apps versus the longer buying process in b2b, and the comparative cost associated with developing and maintaining an App and its content, compared to say a mobile-responsive website can be a big commitment.

However, this could be set to change as mobile browsing begins to overtake desktop browsing and, as discussed previously on this blog, more b2b buyers are taking work home, and browsing work ‘business’ on their tablets and mobiles during their downtime.

Apps can work well for a b2b environment, given some careful consideration. Some good examples we’ve seen lately include product selectors, Apps for fast and efficient sample ordering, tracking functions for the logistics sector, providing the latest news and updates to the legal sector, cost calculators and comparison Apps, and networking spaces for b2b events. In the near future, our online project management tool, which we use to track and share work with clients could even be made into an App for on-the-go client access and easy file sharing. Watch this space…

Are you using an App within a b2b environment successfully? If so, it would be good to hear from you to share your experience – good and bad.

mona

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