No! You Don’t Need an App! What You Need is Responsive Design
Stop spending so much time trying to develop the latest, greatest marketing app!
Right now, every company, their brother, and a few of their cousins want to design an app to help promote their website, but for real results marketers need to focus less on shiny technological toys and more on cultivating a responsive website design. An app isn’t even a window into your company. It’s just a sign telling users that your business is at the next exit. If when they show up you’ve got nothing useful to sell them, do you think they’re going to drive back to have another look at that amazing sign? No way!>!–more–>
There’s no doubt that the ways consumers make transactions and research companies are changing. According to industry research analysts Gartner, Inc, mobile phones will surpass PCs for web access during 2013. This means that the first time most customers see your site, it will be via a mobile device.
Developing an app to promote your page made a lot more sense when mobile and web design were totally different ballgames. Companies wanted to take advantage of the new channel by creating specialized tools which showed customers their capabilities in a new way. Modern technological integration has completely transformed this idea. Now, the website IS the tool. Customers can access your site from anywhere, and they expect it to work. With the current web culture of fostering immediacy, an app just puts another wall between the business and people.
So what does this mean for your website?
It means you don’t need to focus on building out an app, and you also don’t need to focus on how pretty the graphics on your homepage are. What it means is that the site itself must be optimized for mobile viewing and application. Don’t choose between an optimized website and fancy mobile tools. Integrate the ideas to create a RESPONSIVE design.
A responsive website design is preferable to setting up a new “mobile.site.com” domain, because then you only have to keep track of ONE database and ONE set of content. For SEO purposes, this sort of set-up is incredibly functional. A responsive site should be organized for simple visual continuity, so that users don’t have to repeatedly slide their fingers around to zoom in and view every single piece of text whenever they access with a mobile device. Optimizing for smaller screens turns your site into its own app, accessible, viewable, and usable from wherever the customer wants.
According to the Gartner study, by 2014, “over 3 billion of the world’s adult population will be able to transact electronically via mobile or internet technology.” Don’t put all your online marketing into boxes by labeling efforts as apps and tools and outreach. Remember that it’s all based on getting your message out there and meeting customer needs. The best way to do that is with a responsive website design that meets your customer wherever they are, gives them a smile and a handshake, and then shows them why your business is the best in the field.