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What’s an App, and What Should It Do?

In an ever-increasing mobile world, one can’t dispute the importance of mobile apps in an integrated marketing campaign, as part of your brand outreach, or as part your product offering. While the idea of an app began as "native software on a smartphone," it has quickly turned to "a packaged, targeted experience that you own."

Traditionally, apps have been designed and programmed using special software engineered specifically forapp developers. Over time, web technologyhas taken a role the way everything is created, and apps are also made using HTML and JavaScript.To a developer, this means they aren’t really apps. To consumers, however, the fact that it can be delivered to them and loaded onto their mobile devices is whWhat's an App, and What Should It Do?at makes an appan app.

Mobile apps serve as a means to get something done quickly and effectively, enhancing your daily life. At a desktop, we might have the luxury of taking our time and browsing the web for information, but, on the go,our mindset is very different. We don't browse on our iPhones or Androids the way we do on desktops or laptops; we "do" on them. We want information, we want it now, and we want it simple.

The apps that we download on our iPhones are personal to us and to our lifestyles. A consumer seeks and purchases an app with the intention of making his or her on-the-go life easier. As Apple has branded in our minds, whatever your issue is, "there's an app for that."

Getting your brand message across should always be the goal — but not at the cost of utility. If an app is being created for your business, it should serve as a solution specific to your consumer, not purely as a branding/sales tool.Identify the issues your target market might encounter when seeking information within your industry, and figure out how you can give them a solution that will lead them to your brand. Though you can track a ROI to sales produced through an app, never overlook the value of thousands of users downloading an app and interacting with your brand on a daily basis.