We kicked off the morning workshop at the Mobile Marketing conference by discussing the app spectrum: from information to info-tainment to entertainment. Rick Gardinier & Shaun Quigley of Brunner started off with a very important point:
Apps aren't for marketing, they're for people...who expect value.
Any app development initiative needs to fall somewhere on that value spectrum.
So, given that information, you've found your value and now you're ready to jump in and build an app. Do you build it yourself, do you partner/license, or do you use a vendor? Do you build an app or a mobile website?
Take a step back and look at the total mobile experience as well as your customer insight to answer these questions. What are the mobile searches that are being performed for your product? Customer service inquiries, location-based searches? What types of devices are they using? It's important to gather this level of research before jumping in and this information can inform mobile development choices.
Our first chunk of the morning workshop ended with a great mnemonic: Mind the G.A.P.:
What is your Goal, what are the business requirements?
Who is your Audience? Advertisers, stakeholders, competition and end users can all be members of your audience.
Lastly, what is your Platform? IPhone, IPad, Android, RIM, Windows and Web can add up to 6 separate projects. Educate your stakeholders about what this means and what platform(s) you will be targeting. A cross-platform app can cost in the neighborhood of $90,000, vs $30,000 for a single platform.