One in every three minutes spent online are spent on devices other than a PC, according to comScore. It's a no-brainer then that you need a mobile strategy for your business, however big or small your company may be.
But, building an app can be quite overwhelming when you have to think up a solution for your business. Should you build to engage or monetize, should you build a native app or a mobile website and what do you do about building in-house verses outsourcing?
The questions are aplenty. The answers, quite simply, lie within your objectives as a company and the goals you have setup within various departments or key function areas. Think carefully about the following four choices when formulating your mobile strategy:
Who is your audience?
To start with, identify whom you're building the app for. Is it an internal or external audience? An internal audience can mean your employees or support staff. An external one, of course, is your customers.
Engage or monetize?
You need to identify whether you want to engage your audience or monetize them. You'd always monetize your external audience, but you can engage with external and internal audiences alike.
Mobile app or mobile website?
A mobile website is a good start to a mobile strategy, but it's not a replacement for a mobile app. Each serves a different purpose. Native apps offer users far more flexibility and features than websites. In fact, your company must have both, a mobile website and a mobile app.
Develop in-house or outsource?
Outsourcing has received its share of criticism, but if you delve deeper, some of the most successful products on the market today were outsourced in their initial avatar.
It may be wise to outsource the initial development and once you gain enough traction, start setting up a team in-house to manage maintenance and product enhancements.
Whatever your reason for developing a mobile app, make sure it blends in with your company's business plans. Choose wisely as you make these decisions and you'll set yourself up for success.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.