Apps… who needs 'em?

If you believe the hype, they’re essential. But do you really need to develop an App for your business? 

Do you need to build an App?

According to Deloitte research only 20% of Apps produced by major brands are downloaded often enough to let their creators measure and analyse performance accurately. Deloitte also predicts that while the occasional App will hit the big time, poor performance is set to increase as vast numbers of Apps flood the market. It’s expensive to develop a great App too, especially since you’ll probably need to develop it across several different platforms to cater for different devices.

Here are a few common sense things to think about before joining the Application bandwagon. You might find it’s better to wait ’til the hoo-hah dies down and the various technologies settle in.

First, ask yourself why you need an App. Don’t build one just for the sake of it, because everyone else is doing it. Apps should add something significant to the customer party, for instance using features websites don’t have like cameras, GPS and motion sensors to deliver something unique and useful. Don’t bother creating an App that just replicates what your website or mobile site already does.

Second, do the sums. If you don’t think you’ll get a decent return on your App investment, or at least break even, think twice. Or prepare to take a financial hit for the sake of the experience.

If I need an App, what are the dos and don’ts?


  • integrate your App into your marketing plans like you would any other medium
  • make sure it fits your brand/ tone of voice
  • create an experience your website can’t provide
  • encourage sharing via social media
  • include ways to form direct relationships with your business away from the App platform – in other words, join things up!
  • market your App so people know it’s there

DON’T create an App that:

  • is harder to use than your website
  • uses vast amounts of data or requires heavy data updates
  • sits on a mobile platform your customers don’t use
  • is based on fun alone. Deloitte’s branded apps research shows gaming Apps are far less attractive than you might imagine

The most important thing to remember about Apps?

It’s early days. Nothing is certain, least of all ROI.