Originally posted by Troy Allen on CMSWire on July 13, 2011.
Abstract: This article provides an overview of how important mobile apps are in today’s era. In addition this article will discuss how to adapt to this environment and be a head of the learning curve.
Technology evolves at a rate much quicker than most of us can keep pace with. Right now we are in the era of mobile applications. Here are three ways to capture the interest of your app happy customers.
Can you remember when you got your first Bag Cellular Phone or first Pager? Technology at its best. Business was no longer confined to the physical office; we could take calls or get messages on the road. It was all about being informed and being accessible. No one really thought about it as a way to drive the marketing potential of their company. Over the next few years, technology took off like a rocket, heading for the stars and leaving a trail of ever-evolving devises in its wake. Flip phones, PDAs, two-way pagers and BlackBerry’s were everywhere, increasing our ability to communicate, to conduct business. But business-to-business or business-to-consumer interactions were still limited to voice,, text and email.
Enter The Era of Apps
Innovation meets creativity, and the Era of Mobile Apps is born. Blackberry devices get smarter with online calendars, web browsing, and business related applications such as file viewers and the ability to play media files. The term “crack berry” was established; everywhere, business men and women were on their phones, writing emails, sending txt messages, surfing the web; they were addicted. Other “smart phones” were introduced, and competition was driven by the techno-addicted population to see and do more.
The iPhone, the wonder device that does it all, was introduced, and Apple led the charge on true customer interaction. Applications were created, games and media applications were abundant, and finally, companies have avenue to reach the masses with interactive programs. Other devices including Palm and Android hit the market with their own platforms and applications to entice the population.
Insurance companies now enable their clients to submit claims, check statuses, find repair shots and pay their premiums from their mobile devices. Banks allow their users to make deposits, check account activities, pay bills and view transactions from their mobile devices. Retail stores allow shoppers to find coupons, see deals local to the user via GPS and prepare shopping lists from their mobile devices. The Technology rocket has traveled a long way in a short time, but the final destination hasn’t been reached, let alone defined yet.
It seems everyone has a device that keeps them connected to the world around them. Schools (even elementary schools) have to establish rules of conduct for when and how children will use their phones and pads; movie theaters have to remind us to turn the devices off just to watch a movie. Everywhere you look, people have a device in hand and are more interested in the virtual world than what is happening in the real world around them. It seems that news isn’t valid unless it comes across a phone or pad.
Capturing the Interest of App Happy Customers
More and more companies are looking at a way to capture the interest of this application-enlightened world. Most organizations are taking at least one of the following approaches: formatted website, informational applications or interactive applications.
Formatted websites are nothing more than applying the appropriate formatting of an organization’s WWW website for mobile devices. Informational applications are designed to present users with important content in a streamlined application based on user credentials sent from the mobile device. Interactive applications are designed to allow users to not only received user-specific content, but also perform certain functions from mobile devices. The following chart outlines the good, bad and ugly of each mobile methodology: