The modern mobile app boom is a decade young! Not a very long time at all when we compare to other industries and not surprisingly, companies are not sure what to do! We see companies all the time making expensive mistakes and the industry is feeding off this inexperience.

Companies considering a mobile app are often unsure of the reasons to build, the ROI and the ongoing support requirements.

A few years back, a mobile app was a “must have” in the marketing plan. At least, we are beyond this blinded path to grumpy customers but we still have massive gaps in initial thinking of whether to invest in a mobile app or not.

Here are the questions that you have to answer before taking that leap:

1. What is the value to your business? You should be looking to acquire customers, generate brand equity or sell more stuff

2. Who is your target? Once we have this understanding, we know preferences for communication and engagement. Maybe a mobile responsive website is the answer or a templated app or a native build… There are many choices to consider! Why not ask some of your customers what they would like to see?

3. What is the deadline and budget?

  • Phasing a development project can be done in many ways to meet expectations. Launch of a POC (Proof of Concept) or MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is a step forward and there is more to be considered on this digital journey to keep it real, updated and safe. It does not have to be a rush and phasing makes good sense for building the best consumer experience and managing that budget!
  • In this game, you get what you pay for and it’s good to know roughly what you are up for. If you are looking at relatively simple, informational application that can use templated solutions, the build might only be $5k to $25k NZD with a monthly subscription which will scale up based on usage or users. If you are looking at a native iOS and Android application with multiple integrations, you need to be thinking $100k to $200k NZD per application. It is a huge variation and for good reason!

4. Who is out there doing it already and what can we learn? 100% unique ideas in the digital world are unlikely so we must have a look around at what others are doing and decide how to differentiate

5. What are you going to do with it? Go to market plans are the real deal. Relevance in the digital world evolves daily and it is critical to have your business ready to support what you have in market

If you can smash these questions, you are 75% better off than most companies that start engaging with development houses. To build something great for a customer, find a partner that you can work as one – a partnership of clear expectations, open communication channels throughout the project and a “no surprises” project culture. Good luck!

Bruce Howe