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I want an app and I want it now!

Does your brand have its own mobile app or game? No?

Surely it must be time to get one.  Or is it?

Marketing managers around the world are finding themselves in a position where they are being pressured to get brand presence within smart phone application space. Now whilst this may mean developing a cutting edge piece of digital marketing collateral, it can also mean flushing large sums of money down the digital toilet.

There have always been trends and latest fads within marketing that every big brand wants to be part of. Mobile apps and games are no exception. Whilst I see examples of pure genius in the app space, I wonder how many marketing managers are currently having to explain that their mobile application has been downloaded by two people (said marketing manager and their friend!).

We get a fair share of clients asking for or suggesting ideas for a mobile application or games. Before we rush headlong into a project like this, there are many considerations we look at. Before you get involved in developing or commissioning a mobile app/game, read through our guidelines and considerations:

* Make sure it provides a useful service. Ask yourself if you would download and use it. If you can’t answer “yes” to this, then you or your agency probably need to go back to the drawing board.

* Look at the other applications online and see where your application or game would fit into the market. If your app will mimic another app, see how you can improve on that app.

* Don’t always think about pushing your brand too much in games, real gamers won’t be interested if you do. If you are keen to produce a game, focus on the game design first THEN the branding. If the game is heavily branded no one will download it.

* Do some research before you design the app, like most marketing activities, a little research goes a long way.

* Don’t reproduce your website in a mobile application, it’s more cost effective to create a mobile version of your site rather than an application.

* Ask yourself if you are just producing the application solely for PR benefits? If the answer is “yes” I would make sure you have covered off all other forms of effective PR first, there may be other cheaper and more effective strategies.

Still confident you need an application or game for your next marketing drive? Get it right and your brand could be the talk of the town. Get it wrong and you could still be the talk of the town of the wrong reasons!