Mobile Marketing: Do I Really Need An App?

Alex Hill Dec 21, 2017

The mobile phone has become an essential tool to support our busy lives. They are always with us and occupy and inordinate amount of our attention. Moment, an app that automatically tracks how much you use your iPhone each day, found that people spend an average of 145 minutes per day using their phones. That’s roughly 10% of your day, 15% if you take out sleeping hours. Wow. To have the best opportunity to stay close to your customers and keep them engaged you need to be present on their mobile phones.

However, a recent TechCrunch report found that smartphone users access an average of 9 apps per day and 30 apps per month. And the average person has 60-90 apps installed on their phone. We can get so many apps that app fatigue sets in. Many are very picky about which apps they allow to take space on their device.

Ok, so mobile apps are the best way to stay engaged with my customers, but my customers have so many apps they may not want to install my app. Is it even worth the investment? Here are a few key considerations:


First, if you’re going to be one of those top 30 apps that your customer uses each month, you’re going to need to provide an app experience that is intuitive and provides the customer with value, utility, and content, which is in line with their lifestyle interests and your brand. For example, you could provide offers and incentives that are only available via the mobile app. Reinforce this point to your customers via your others channels like email, website, in-store signs, etc. Even though Red Bull sells energy drinks they have embraced providing their customer base with content about adrenaline sports. This engages their customers more broadly and helps keep the brand top of mind.

Second, instead of taking an all-or-nothing approach with apps, it’s better to embrace a seamless multi-channel strategy. Customers engage in different ways and at different times. You need to be ready to engage with them in the channel from which they are coming to you. And when that moment occurs, it’s important that you know them regardless of the channel. You need a CDP (customer data platform) that has a unified view of the customer. Each channel needs to be informed by this CDP so that it has context of the customer’s experiences with you across other channels. This will help you take advantage of presenting the right content, offer, and communication in that moment.

Third, maybe you don’t have a high-purchase-frequency business model, which makes it harder for your customers to justify installing your app. There’s always going to be some percentage of your customer base that wants an app. Maybe they’re your most avid fans. You need to have something for them. One option is the SessionM white label mobile app that can be customized for your look and feel. It provides some key essential loyalty and engagement features that can be quickly used by our customers at a very reasonable cost and setup time.

Three key takeaways:

  1. Deliver an app(s) that provides value, utility, and content that they can only get with the mobile app.
  2. Engage across channels. Make it seamless to the customer.
  3. Provide some kind of mobile app option even if only used by a small percentage of your customer base.