Is your app on a January health kick?

Is your app on a January health kick?

Fetch’s Greg Grimmer might be getting on a bit, but he still knows a thing or two about building and maintaining a quality app.

Those of you who were at The Year Ahead event last week will have heard Mediatel’s own Derek Jones announce to the thronging masses that I had hit a personal milestone. My now aged and decrepit body and mind is tasked with writing an article on so-called Black Monday. The worst day of the year. Can life get any crueller?

But wait there is optimism, there is hope, there is light! I still work in the sexiest and fastest growing sector in marketing communication. I still live in the ‘globile’ world. I can still evangelise about how you should get a pocket computer and try and do what you used to do – yeah! (Okay I fell back to the 70s for a second.)

I am a thoroughly modern marketer, but what do I see? The same old mistakes of yore even in 2016. Clients and agencies spend months, if not years, planning, building and launching a new app, only to neglect it as soon as it hits the app store.

Looking at 2016, the app economy is bigger than ever before with over a million apps at your fingertips on both the Apple and Play store. Choosing one to download becomes as time wasting as some of the apps themselves.
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With the cluttered lifestyles we lead, the demand for our attention is higher than it has ever been when faced with so much choice. Considering the 5% remaining storage on your phone becomes as precious as the phone itself, the decision is not taken lightly as to which apps remain installed. It is crucial that businesses build and develop an app that can keep users engaged and stand the test of time.

The speed at which users go from downloading to deleting an app can be the time taken for my mug to finish filling from the office coffee machine. The last thing needed is the app pool to overflow with unwanted and poor-quality executions. Businesses cannot launch an app and hope their work is done to start reaping the benefits for their brand awareness and performance. There needs to be a focus on innovation and experimentation to establish app loyalty and win over the hearts of the savvy mobile consumer.

It is crucial to invest in the technical build of the app, especially focusing on optimising the user journey after installation. If the UX is not up to scratch many apps fall victim to being wiped from the user’s phone after a couple of trial runs exploring its features. Whether this be due to frustrations of snail speed loading or a painful sign-up that makes you feel like the app wants to know more about your life than your mother just to order a damn takeaway.

Google’s ‘App-nesia’ research study in the UK proves that unloved apps do exist in our mobile-first world with findings showing one in five apps across travel, retail and restaurants are forgotten.

Interestingly, with travel being a highly forgotten app category, nine in 10 who have forgotten the app would be open to use them again. This highlights the importance of smart mobile marketing to grab the opportunity to re-engage users.

Techniques such as app deeplinking and surfacing content on mobile search engines will help to improve discoverability and remind people why they installed the app in the first place.

So what to do? Well, the first thing you can do is attend a free event that Fetch, Mediatel and Google are putting together at the end of the month looking at the best mobile app marketing practices 2016.

Back at the Haymarket Hotel for the first time this year, I might just book myself in for the night before. Well, at my age, I need all the beauty sleep I can get.

Greg Grimmer is global COO of Fetch

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