Mobile app development numbers rising, but marketing is tougher

July 18, 2014

Companies have begun to realize that mobile solutions are more than just a way to handle payroll and other internal tasks – a sleek mobile app can be a great way for a company to present itself to the outside world. In 2013, businesses in every sector want to present themselves as cutting-edge, and smartphone applications are a great way to do so.

Creating an app is the easy part, and everyone is doing it. Especially for a company that's already well-stocked with IT talent, it's simple to recruit a couple of software engineers to draw up a plan for a new application and execute it. Making the app is relatively no sweat – but the harder part is marketing the app to the world outside one's company.

There's a notable gap there, as survey data from IDC Manufacturing Insights recently revealed. The firm recently polled a group of IT manufacturing companies for its report entitled "Business Strategy: Looking Forward to the Corporate Application Store," which revealed that not everyone who designs a mobile app is able to get it sold in corporate app stores. In fact, there's a massive disparity – 80 percent of manufacturers are developing apps, but adoption rates at corporate app stores are under 20 percent.

Heather Ashton, research manager at IDC Manufacturing Insights, insists that app stores can't be ignored. If companies want to get their software out there, they need to put it in stores.

"The rise of the corporate app store is an emerging trend in manufacturing, and we believe it will continue to become an appropriate construct for managing the proliferation of mobile apps inside the corporation," Ashton said in a release. "Manufacturers need to evaluate their current mobility maturity and understand when and how a corporate app store can effectively facilitate the spread of mobile apps throughout their organization."

Alternative strategies
Of course, going through the corporate app store isn't the only way to market an application, though it is the most proven. Companies can also sell their apps independently, or they can partner with other IT companies who will help them promote their solutions.

Marketing an app without outside help can be very costly for a business, as AdotasWire recently noted. The Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index, which measures the cost of retaining a loyal customer on mobile platforms, rose 17 cents in June from $1.33 per customer to $1.50. Mobile advertising platforms are tremendously popular these days, and they're charging accordingly.

Mobile apps are everywhere today. Creating one is no problem, but selling it is a bit tougher.