Company exec “We need an app!”
Marketing exec “Okay. But, what’s it going to do?”
Company exec “It doesn’t matter, our competitors have got one / apps are very in / look at Apple, they’re doing well…”
Gadget-envy, about an emerging platform is rife in the current age of ever-changing technology, but in many cases that I see every day this clouds decision-making, and leads to “app-fever”.
The Reality of New Technology
We love shiny new tech as much as the next geek, but we’ve all seen new technologies set to be the latest “big thing” that turn up riddled with bugs, have low up-take, or, like QR Codes, are little more than a death-slide to product and service commoditisation.
So what do we mean by technology?
Are we talking about a website, a mobile app, a new customer database or social media platform? Or something simpler, like pay-by-SMS or CRM. What are the options and their advantages, user base and likely future popularity?
Do any of the above actually enhance the customer experience, offer value, or improve your chance of making a sale?
If yes, can you measure its impact, and assign an accurate return on investment?
Correctly implemented measurement tools are where digital can offer a unique advantage, providing proof of ROI, and can give you data to inform your business decisions, and allow you to quickly react away from an unsuccessful strategy.
Does the ROI fit with the commercial objectives for your business?
Is that investment best spent elsewhere? Consider your options, as any marketing spend has an opportunity cost associated with it. Would improving the existing mobile website experience result in more sales than investing in a new app?
The adoption of any technology shouldn’t be led by what your competitors are doing, by the latest trend or on a whim.
Technology can be as simple as contributing to the bottom line through improved process or providing you with the data that your business needs to make smarter, more profitable decisions. Now that’s not a bad place to start.
Oli Ward is Technical Lead at AgencyUK in Bath. With 8 years experience delivering sites for public, private and third sector clients, his strengths lie in both front-end and back-end development, and assembling first-in-class development teams. Oli has a particular passion for user experience and has extensive knowledge developing CMS and e-Commerce platforms.