Are you ready for an app society?

Can you believe it?  We now spend more time on mobile devices than we do watching TV.  Is that because we are all watching TV on our smartphones?  Well, not exactly, but it is amazing that we can stream live TV on our mobile devices from just about anywhere.  Our reliance on mobile devices is astounding.  If you think about where we were just 10 short years ago, when for the most part, mobile phone usage was just that: “mobile phone” usage.  That is far from the case today.  As a matter of fact, the App Store did not even exist ten years ago.  It was launched on July 10, 2008.

Fast forward to today, and mobile devices have become business weapons.  They are not only keeping us connected to our email, our colleagues, and our customers, but also as means to engage with customers, conduct commerce, track performance, and yes, to find our way to meetings.  Apps are moving beyond just an extension of our business and are now becoming the primary connection point to many of the products we use every day.

app-societyConsidering that nearly three-quarters of Americans check their mobile phones at least once per hour, and that nearly 90% of time using mobile phones is now devoted to using apps*, it means we are all living right in the middle of app town.  In our small corner of the app development world, we are seeing a tremendous shift in our business, where much of our client work is for major app projects.  Building apps is a discussion we are having daily with a host of potential clients.  Through the magic of Bluetooth, many products rely on apps as the primary interface to control them.  Just look at “Fit Bit” or “Sonos.”  Or, how about an air bed with an adjustable base, where the app connects through Bluetooth and allows the consumer to adjust the comfort level of their bed or adjust the base of the bed up and down.

Apps For Business Are On the Rise

We are all aware of the mass use of apps for playing music, banking, checking news, ordering food, requesting an Uber and playing games.  And, we all tend to take those uses for granted today, as it has become a part of our everyday lives.  Beyond those obvious uses, there is a shift on the importance of apps in business that is taking place right before our very eyes, or shall we more appropriately say, right before our very fingertips.  We are seeing apps built for managing sales teams, engaging large populations of employees, interfacing with medical devices, managing loyalty programs, delivering training, point of sale, and even to track health symptoms.

Regardless of the industry you operate, the day has come where an app may be the means for you to keep your business in the pocket of your customers, employees, and influencers, or as a powerful way to engage them at the point of sale.  In many cases, an app is as important as your website and must be considered an essential part of your digital strategy.

What else should be considered an essential part of your digital strategy? Effective advertising. Effective advertising is about reaching people where they are. Well, where is everyone now? In their apps. People are spending less and less time web browsing and more time living in their apps. Have you noticed in-app ads on any of your favorite apps? In-app ads are the billboards of app town, and if your strategy doesn’t include leveraging in-app advertising networks, then you may be missing out on a huge audience.

The App Society Has Arrived And We Are Living It Every Day.

What are you doing daily on your phone?  Think about it the next time you pick up your mobile phone. Look around you and see how many heads are buried intently into that tiny screen. How many apps do you have on your phone today? I have over 100 – no kidding.  I may not use them all every day and many I use significantly more than others, but I downloaded all of them for a reason.  Check your phone and think about how and how often you use your apps.  Then, ask yourself: “How can an app be an integral part of my business strategy? How can I use an app to better engage with my customers, increase business efficiency, increase loyalty or increase sales?” Or, simply put: Are you ready for the app society?

 

*Gallup Survey, July, 2015