Apps vs. Mobile Ads: Which is Best for Your Brand?

As brands expand into the world of mobile marketing, it can become difficult for a brand to determine what step to take to reach mobile users. Deciding between apps and ads can be confusing for inexperienced mobile marketing teams. In order to determine what approach you should take in the mobile realm, consider the following questions.

What category are you trying to fit into?
Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, it might not be worth your time to make an app. According to mobiThinking, U.S. consumers prefer using mobile browsers for banking, travel, shopping, local info, news, video, sports and blogs. Consumers prefer apps, however, for games, social media, maps and music. The service/product you provide should play a large role in determining what approach you take.

Is your site optimized for mobile?
Don’t think of choosing the ad route as taking the easy way out. Of the people who react to seeing a mobile ad, 42% click on the ad, 35% visit the advertiser’s site and 32% search for more information about the business or product on their phone. If you are among the 79% of online advertisers who still don’t have a mobile-optimized site, you stand to lose that potential customer immediately. Even if you decide to develop an app for your business, make sure you take the time to optimize your site for mobile browsing and purchasing.

Are you offering a product/service that you want users to return to time and time again?
Users are definitely open to trying new apps, but 1 in 4 apps will never be used once downloaded. In order to create a regular user, you’ll need to ensure that your customers will enjoy your app and will want to use it on a regular basis. If your product/service is specialized or something that users will only use on an occasional basis, creating an app may not be the best way to go. But, if you’re offering a product/service that customers are always ready to use or purchase more of, like a major retailer, it could be worth your time to create an app for them.

Whether you decide to take the route of advertising or app development, the mobile market and the 1.2 billion mobile web users worldwide is definitely a market worth tapping into. Check out our posts about making mobile work for your audience and our five tips to help you achieve mobile success.