So you hear us talking a lot about mobile apps in this space, and perhaps you’re wondering why. With all of the other marketing vehicles available, what makes mobile apps so critical to businesses?

First of all, let’s identify some of your other marketing options. They include websites, email campaigns and e-newsletters, webinars, blogs, and social media. All well and good, and each has its own particular value.

But what sets mobile apps apart from the field is their immediacy. Mobile apps take your business’ brand and put it literally into the hands of your current and prospective customers immediately and on-demand. This gives you a tangible branding vehicle that sits at their very fingertips and pockets of your customers at any given moment.

At MobiFlex, we think about this as POST – People, Objectives, Strategy, and Technology – and here’s what we mean by that.

When it comes to putting together a mobile app strategy for business use, you must first consider the people: who are your target users, what devices are they using, and how should your app get to them?

Next, consider your app’s objectives: Are you looking to increase revenue? Increase customer loyalty and repeat sales? Reduce costs? Perhaps the goal is to close sales faster. Whatever the case, determine what data your business needs to get into the hands of its customers or employees.

As for strategy, it’s critical to consider how mobile apps fit into your business’ overall marketing and sales game plan. Don’t build an app just for the sake of having one; build an app that’s going to bring benefit and value to your business. Then be sure to think about how you’ll pilot and test your app, and beyond that, how you’ll upgrade it when the time comes.

Finally, put some thought into the technology involved. Will a native app orweb app best suit your business’ needs? What features will be most beneficial to your business? Does your app need location-based services? Will it use the camera? How should it be published? See our earlier post:The Differences between native apps and webapps to help you decide.

Whatever your answers to these crucial questions, remember that withViziApps, it’s free to design and test your apps, and our publishing fees are the lowest in the industry. ViziApps apps can be published in mere days. When inevitable changes or new features are needed, they’ll be free to make and can be implemented in a matter of hours or days.

And no matter what your business objectives are, before you start building your app, take the time to frame it out, and understand how you want your business to benefit from your mobile app strategy.