When selecting an app developer to work on your next iPhone, iPad or Android mobile App project, individuals, businesses and brands need to consider what value add each developer offers to maximize both App appeal and App reach. Without both your shiny new App may never be found, downloaded or used.
These concepts are not new and herald back to 1960 when the late Theodore Levitt first published his article in the Harvard Business Review called Marketing Myopia. Incidentally when the Harvard Business Review republished this article in 2004 it was proclaimed as the most important marketing game changer for marketing in the last half century, so take note!
Many App developers limit themselves and their customer’ potential by improperly defining their purpose. That is, by calling themselves an App developer they are implying that they create a specific limited product – Apps.
As customers make the app developer selection process engaging with a company that defines itself so narrowly and misunderstanding so completely what business they are really in, can have the effect of also limiting the App’s appeal to the target market because of an implicit misunderstanding of their purpose in the value creation chain.
After all, if all you do is develop apps, how can you possibly understand the intricacies and nuances of the app to the ideal user and create an app that solves that compelling need or problem for these users?
What do App Developers And Railroads Have In Common?
When customers use an App they don’t want to use an app they want to be entertained, productive, make their lives easier, communicate or maybe all of these at the same time – quickly and easily.
To look at this another way look to Levitts HBR article and the analysis of the plight of the American Railroads in the early 20th century where a once growing industry become stagnant and endangered.
The need for railroads did not decline because the need for passenger transportation declined, and not because the need was filled by others such as cars, buses and planes. Rather, the railroad let others take their customers away because they assumed they were in the railroad business rather than the transportation business.
Taking this into the 21st century perspective, web developers should not view app developers as a threat, rather marketing companies should see app developers who are using Apps as the spearhead of comprehensive digital marketing plans as the most severe threat since web and mobile marketing evolved as a business.
And this is what you should look for as a customer when choosing an app developer. A company that can provide you a well developed, good looking easy to use app which meets the needs of the ideal user within your budget and the ability to understand how to position this app at the apex of a digital marketing assault with the provision and execution of a comprehensive digital marketing plan.
How Does Digital Marketing Know-How Help With App Creation?
The purpose of marketing is to identify and communicate the value of your business or brand’s products and services to your customers, fans and followers and cause sales. In short marketing should help customers discover, create, arouse and satisfy your customer’s needs.
Clearly, a mobile developer that provides coding and mobile application asset creation such as graphics and sound, display none of the marketing musts and both limit their businesses potential for growth as well as your Apps positioning.
The App developers view the marketing effort as a necessary consequence of the product – not – vice versa as it should be. So in fact when contracting an app developer to make an app for your business or brand your mindset and that of your chosen app developer should be focused on how to position that App at the apex of your digital marketing assault rather than how to market the App.
The developer that you select needs to communicate to you how it thinks of itself as taking care of customers marketing needs, not writing code and creating graphics to combine into a piece of software. The real problem the app developer solves for the customer is satisfaction of his or her deepest need – creating value that the customer needs in exchange for the App product at a fair price.
Good App developers are not in the app making business they are in the Digital Marketing business, or at least they should be if you are going to engage them to meet your customers needs.