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Mobile ROI

Mobile site or Mobile App?

by Randall Craig on November 28, 2014

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Mobile, Web

Tagged as: , , ,

At a certain point, every organization will ask the question about whether or not they need an App.  Putting aside whether there is a bona fide reason for investing in an app or not, there is a second related question that always gets asked: if we have a mobile (eg responsive) website, do we actually need a mobile app?

To help answer this question, we have assembled a brief summary of the advantages of each platform:

A mobile website:

  • Since the organization is investing in the website anyway, the marginal cost of a responsive mobile website is very low.
  • There is little or no “extra” maintenance, since anytime something is updated on the main website, the mobile site will automatically be updated.
  • Everyone has a browser on their smartphone: it’s just a matter of typing in the URL to bring up the mobile site.
  • There is no need for the user to go through the extra step of downloading the app.
  • No app development expense; no app support requirements.
  • No decision as to what platform to develop the app for:  iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry.  The mobile site works on all platforms.

A mobile app:

  • Easier to discover: billions of webpages, only several million apps.
  • Once downloaded, it has a coveted spot on the user’s device.
  • A dedicated user interface that isn’t constrained by the browser’s technical limits.
  • The ability to monetize through in-app purchases.
  • A closed system: Less user distraction from websites or third-party ads.
  • Most apps are not dependent on a data connection, and can run in a subway, remote mountaintop, or airplane.

This week’s action plan:  This week, we are making an offer: ask us, and we will provide three ideas for how mobile can be used by your organization strategically, and for balance, three reasons why you should give mobile a pass.  The goal is to start an open conversation about the could be.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

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