Is Your Mobile App Helping or Hurting You?

Becky Doles

Is your mobile app helping or hurting your company? It's a question far too many organizations cannot confidently answer.

Ported Post: This entry was originally published in the Artisan Mobile blog. Artisan was rebranded as In-App Marketing after being acquired by TUNE in July of 2015. 

Artisan mobile app analytics

Even as mobile marketing budgets continue to rise, many companies still haven’t fully realized the potential of the mobile app channel. App publishers are quick to seize on trends like push messaging and social integration, but taken in isolation, these features don’t make a mobile app successful… and they don’t help align a mobile app with higher-order business objectives.

Over the long haul, companies need to identify their mobile app goals more precisely, along with ways to more effectively integrate the channel with broader marketing efforts. However, in the short term, there is an easier and more immediately important question to answer: Is your mobile app helping or hurting your company?

The question of mobile app efficacy is one that far too many organizations cannot confidently answer. Many still believe that a growing download count means that an app is successful. Yet volume alone doesn’t paint a very clear picture of the app experience. Are consumers who download the app being positively influenced? Is the app providing brand lift or improving purchasing behavior? Are some consumers having a negative experience? And if so, what is the impact on brand perception and buying trends?

Mobile activity has exploded, and companies are making more of an effort now to advertise and promote their mobile apps. Both factors mean that download counts are likely to rise, which in turn means that companies can feel good about their app progress. But the download metric doesn’t tell the whole story. For example, in a study by Akamai, nearly a third of consumers surveyed reported that they are less likely to spend money with a company if they have a poor mobile app experience. And that trend extends to in-store purchasing as well as online. What good is a higher overall download count if a significant number of new users end up walking away with a negative impression of your brand?

Until companies start to gain better insight into the mobile app experience, there is no way to really know if an app is helping or hurting an organization’s marketing efforts. And that’s only the first step toward establishing what the levers of influence in an app are, and how they can be used to purposefully drive business results. Spending money on trendy app features is one thing, but only by fully understanding usage behavior and consumer impact can you truly achieve app success.

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.

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