Your Mobile App Will Let You Down

Brands, including Recording Artists and Touring Bands, who take the time to consider their mobile strategy still struggle over whether a mobile website or a mobile app is the right way to go. If you have limited resources, you may wonder whether you really need to build both, and perhaps you are able to channel scarce resources into only one fully funded mobile project. Mobile Apps have historically been seen by web designers as the only way to provide a rich user experience of mobile. Add to that the countless partisan debates between those who want to sell you a mobile app and those who want to sell you a mobile site and it can be difficult to get to what it actually makes sense for bands to help them reach, engage and monetize their fans.

Here at Adva Mobile, we sell both Mobile Apps and Mobile Sites, so we don't have a position that clouds our passion. (We love mobile, so we love Apps!) However, there are compelling reasons why the strongest mobile strategy starts with a mobile website and uses it to build a fan base. Consider the following problems inherent with betting the farm on a Mobile App:

1. The most successful iPhone App which becomes viral enough to be passed around to every user on the platform, ultimately reaches only 7% of thev mobile market. Mobile websites have the potential to reach 100% of mobile web users.

2. There is a lot of buzz about Apps, and those who are looking to sell Apps have been successful propagating the myth that users prefer a mobile App experience. There's enough research out there that shows that most users in fact prefer a mobile website over Mobile Apps.

3. There are very few Apps that exist today that provide something beyond what a mobile website can do. Mobile browser technology is increasingly powerful, and there are many things a mobile website can do that they couldn't previously. For music artists, however, there's nothing about an App that can be duplicated in a mobile web experience, and with much greater reach and engagement.

Fan Unfriendly

4. The primary detraction of Apps for the Recording Artist or Touring Band is that Apps never let you know who your fans are. The mobile website can have a close relationship with inbound text services, including key words and short codes, and outbound text messaging that drives fans to a mobile website. Apps can't do this. These mobile marketing services allow you to capture information from opted-in fans that you can use to later market proactively to them and drive them to your mobile website. For artists committed to the direct-to-fan movement, this information is critical to building and maintaining your fan base, engaging them, marketing to them and selling them your music, merchandise, and show tickets.

5. The benefits of mobile websites for your mobile commerce strategy also overwhelm Apps. iPhone Apps seamlessly drive purchase interest to the iTunes Store, where - you guessed it - you cannot learn who you fans are and who is making these purchases. Mobile website storefronts deliver all of this information - and ALL of the revenue - to the Artist.

There is a segment of your fan base who prefer Mobile Apps and use them regularly. It is exactly for this reason that Adva Mobile offers inexpensive Apps that follow the brand of your Mobile Web and tie into your mobile marketing campaign strategy. All of the Artists using Adva Mobile services that are building their fan base use the Mobile Web to anchor their mobile strategy, and branch out to Apps from there.

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