What The Hell’s An App Strategist? (And Why Every Agency Needs One!)

What The Hell’s An App Strategist? (And Why Every Agency Needs One!)
SHARE
THIS



In this opinion piece, Steve Molloy (pictured below), founder of mobile app firm LOMAH Studios, says brands need a mobile strategy which includes an app. And it should be up to agencies to fly the app flag for clients…

It’s crucial for brands to have an app as part of a marketing plan. Advertising agencies should have an app strategist to help clients develop an app.

IMG_6970

When a brand makes a decision to release an app, it is tied to marketing. When Pizza Hut made their app available, it was simply to facilitate orders. When the ordering process can be easily done from anywhere you can access your smartphone, it is bound to have a positive impact on sales. Grocery giant Coles released an app with features that include helping consumers find sale items and create shopping lists on the fly. Logically, if you can make it easier for people to shop at your store, they’ll do it more often. Apps must be working; 91 per cent of the top 100 global brands have one.

Despite this, most companies do not have a solid mobile strategy. Some don’t have one at all. However, in an increasingly mobile-first environment, a mobile strategy is essential to future growth. Much like social media became essential to marketing several years ago, moving forward with a mobile strategy in mind is imperative to a brand’s growth.

Because apps are tied to marketing, the reasonable step for a brand that wants to implement a mobile strategy is their advertising agency. It is logical. Apps help brands create more marketing space and to use that space in unique ways. They are free of the constraints of third-party rules, such as those on Facebook, or restrictions like Twitter’s character limit. There’s the opportunity for gamification, decreasing the chances that your app becomes a zombie app. The app becomes a representative for your brand, just waiting to be used.

So who creates these amazing technological tools that allow brands to better engage with customers? An app strategist helps brands create this tool. You may be asking yourself, “What on earth is an app strategist?” An app strategist is a combination of a UI designer and marketing specialist; someone who can help develop an app to drive your marketing goals.

Most businesses aren’t large enough to employ a full time app strategist. Because apps are tied to marketing, it’s sensible to turn to the company’s advertising agency to handle this responsibility. However, today, many advertising agencies do not have an app strategist on staff. App development is passed on to the IT guy, or Stacy who works in graphic design who once designed an app for her brother’s band. In this environment, apps are not designed with a focus in mind, so while your customers may be excited to download your app, if it is poorly designed, or doesn’t have features that they find useful, they are not going to open it again.

While app strategist is a new job title, finding one should not be as hard as it is. Quite simply, an app strategist should be offered by every advertising agency. Apps are a critical part of marketing today. They are often lowest on the totem pole in terms of budget, but they are being decidedly undervalued. However, think about this: by early 2014, Pizza Hut saw more orders on mobile than they did online. The average Android user has 95 apps on their phone. If you are looking to increase customer connection, there are no better ways than apps.

Additionally, some companies are designing apps to work solely within their business. Employee communication, file management, project management, cloud syncing and customer retention can all be handled with specifically designed apps. As companies increasingly rely on outsourcing specialist positions, effective communication and CRM is essential. A custom app allows the company to achieve this.

Designing an app is not a one shot deal. Only 20 per cent of companies see mass adoption of their apps, which means that app design is an ongoing process. Much like any strategy, an app strategy should be evaluated on a regular basis. How can it be made better? What changes can be implemented to improve adoption rates? Even if a company is seeing stellar adoption rates, as customer needs and technology evolve, the app may still need to be updated. There should be a strong focus and specific goals tied to an app strategy. An app designed for the sole purpose of putting your name on customers’ devices is sure to be deleted the next time they get the warning that they’re using too much space.

An app strategist should work with a company to develop a long term strategy that is fluid and capable of evolving, much like a social media strategy. There should be specific goals, a budget, and an expected return on investment. An app strategy should be evaluated on a regular basis to measure performance of the app. Metrics to measure include:

  • User acquisition cost – How much does it cost you to earn a download?
  • New leads – Is the app bringing you new leads?
  • Influenced customers – How many customers actually made a purchase because of the app?
  • Abandonment rate – How many download the app, never to use it after the first use? Fifth use? Twentieth?
  • Session Length – How long are your customers staying on the app? This can measure several things, depending on the design of your app. If they’re spending longer than expected in the ordering process, is there a problem there? Or are they spending a long time in your app because they’re reading product descriptions or enjoying the functionality?

As you can see, putting together an app strategy and designing an app aren’t projects that can be done in a day or two. They are tasks that should be handled by someone who knows what they’re doing, and can help you develop an app that will do exactly what you need it to do. Advertising agencies are not going to begin keeping app strategists on staff until businesses demand better apps. If you want to be competitive in the global app game, you need to demand that your advertising agency bring in a specialist. If you want an app designed to be functional, to help you meet your marketing goals, and to be used by your customers, then it is imperative that you work with a professional app strategist.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

QMS Goes West With ‘The Leeder’
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Goes West With ‘The Leeder’

QMS Media continues to expand its digital portfolio across Western Australia, switching on an iconic billboard in the heart of Perth. Following the launch of two new digital billboards in the major WA regional centres of Bunbury and Kalgoorlie in recent months, ‘The Leeder’ further delivers on QMS’ digital expansion strategy out west. Positioned at […]

PR Firm Text100 Wins NetApp Account For APAC
  • Marketing

PR Firm Text100 Wins NetApp Account For APAC

Global marketing communications agency Text100 has announced it been appointed by data management company NetApp to drive its brand transformation effort across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Following local competitive pitches conducted across the region, Text100 has been appointed as the APAC lead agency out of Singapore, and as the local agency of record in Australia, […]

MFA Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

MFA Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!

B&T once again donned the tux, applied the Brut, and primed the liver for last night's MFA Awards in Sydney.

Concrete Playground Launches Voice-activated Nightlife Guide With Google Assistant
  • Media
  • Technology

Concrete Playground Launches Voice-activated Nightlife Guide With Google Assistant

Digital publisher Concrete Playground has unveiled a new app that helps Millennials plan their night out using voice control – the first of its kind to become available in Australia. Concrete Playground’s Guide to Tonight now works with Google Assistant, making it available on a range of Google devices and helping people to decide what […]

Digital Agency Inlight Secures Two Key Client Wins
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Digital Agency Inlight Secures Two Key Client Wins

Independent agency Inlight has announced it has won the digital account for Benetas, a not-for-profit aged care provider in Victoria. Following a competitive pitch process, Inlight was chosen to handle Benetas’ new website design, build and ongoing optimisation. Richard Barker, marketing manager at Benetas, said: “We wanted an agency that could be our true digital […]

AMI Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!
  • Marketing

AMI Awards 2017 Winners Revealed!

With almost 30 awards handed out, B&T predicts plenty of numb bottoms at last night's AMI Awards in Melbourne.

Clems Sydney CEO Andy Pontin Quits
  • Advertising

Clems Sydney CEO Andy Pontin Quits

Sure, B&T flashed the news of Andy Pontin quitting this morning. White lies aside, he's actually still got six months.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Adobe MAXes Most Creatives In A Room Record
  • Advertising
  • Media

Adobe MAXes Most Creatives In A Room Record

B&T's journo is reporting live from the annual Adobe Summit in Vegas. Although, "reporting" is somewhat of a stretch.

Opinion

by David Hovenden

David Hovenden
Digital Women’s Network & The Australian College Of Marketing Unveil Latest Short Courses
  • Marketing

Digital Women’s Network & The Australian College Of Marketing Unveil Latest Short Courses

The Australian College of Marketing is collaborating with the Digital Women’s Network to bring new short courses aimed to provide the latest skills across all aspects of the Digital landscape, kicking off in Melbourne and Sydney in 2018. Course content will focus around various topics related to the digital marketing landscape. All courses will run […]

Man working at office desk, looking at computer and scratching head
  • Technology

Where Are Digital & Tech Skills & Salaries Headed?

The rapid pace of technological change in the digital sector is seeing demand for those with the right skill sets outstrip availability, both locally and globally. The individuals who have kept their skills up to date are being well-rewarded financially. Now, Digital + Technology Collective’s expanded annual Skills and Salary Survey will put some numbers and context […]

Disney & ESPN Unify Sales & Partnerships Teams
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Disney & ESPN Unify Sales & Partnerships Teams

Disney and ESPN have formed an even closer bond, announcing a new alignment of the two properties through their media sales and partnerships teams. Instead of entering through three doors, Disney ESPN Media Sales & Partnerships will give media buyers and marketers a refined, singular point of entry for Disney, ESPN Digital and Maker. Nik […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Sydney Start-up Muzaara Partners With Commission Factory To Turbocharge Digital Ad Spends
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Sydney Start-up Muzaara Partners With Commission Factory To Turbocharge Digital Ad Spends

Sydney-based adtech start-up Muzaara has announced a new strategic partnership with performance marketing platform Commission Factory. Together, Muzaara and Commision Factory are providing SMEs with a secret weapon to skyrocket their online brand visibility and effectively manage and maximise their online advertising campaigns. This partnership will allow both online marketing companies and their impressive roster […]

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard

Breakfast cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s has joined forces with Shazam and digital agency Orchard to deliver a first-of-its-kind augmented reality (AR) Halloween Trick or Treat experience for families. The campaign, which leverages Shazam’s visual recognition platform and recently-launched AR platform, sees Kellogg’s pilot the replacement of physical gifts in cereal packs with a digital experience that […]

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency
  • Advertising

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency

Kraft Heinz today confirmed the appointment of Cummins&Partners as its new Creative agency after an extensive pitch process. They will be responsible for brand strategy and integrated creative across the expanding Kraft Heinz portfolio including Kraft, Heinz and Golden Circle. A Kraft Heinz spokesperson said: “After an exhaustive search involving a competitive pitch, we have made […]

Patrick Delany (CEO, Fox Sports), Hugh Marks (CEO, Nine Entertainment Co), Miranda Devine (Columnist, News Corp), Michael Miller (Executive Chairman, News Corp Australasia), Grant Blackley (CEO & Managing Director, Southern Cross Austereo) at Radio Alive 2017
  • Media

Media Bosses Weigh In On Ten-CBS Deal

Do you enjoy articles featuring industry big-wigs? Well, it doesn't come much bigger and wiggier than this, we say.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine