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Selecting a mobile application’s programming format: native, HTML5, or a hybrid

Selecting a mobile application’s programming format: native, HTML5, or a hybrid

Businesses who are seeking to create the best mobile application must choose which programming environment they will use. Should they peruse a mobile platform’s native language, HTML5, or a hybrid of the two environments? Your selection of a format will be dependent upon several factors including development costs, your project objectives, and the preferences of your customer. Many companies have found that the investment of time to define your objectives will pay off later in the development cycle.

Software developers have debated each type’s efficiency over the years. Each form creates a different product. Here is short look at the differences between these three formats:

  • Native apps take advantage of built-in functions, such as GPS or the camera. These apps can utilize features of the smartphone’s operating system to provide an enhanced user experience. Double tapping, pinching, or other touch gestures can serve purposes in the function of your app.
  • HTML5 apps come with the advantage of universally applicable code; these apps use standard web technologies and can operate seamlessly on many devices. Web language is also widely known and learned considerably easier than that of specific operating systems. These factors lead to HTML5 apps ability to be quickly developed, tested, edited, and retested. The development of HTML5 over HTML4 also allows for apps to look and feel more like native apps more than ever before.
  • Hybrid apps allow a developer to take the format of an HTML5 application and wrap it inside of native environment, crafted for a given platform.

While HTML5 apps may be easier to create and implement into multiple devices, there is a critical cost-benefit ratio in the app performance. When 79% of people won’t try an app again if it fails more than twice, you must decide if the ease in creating HTML5 apps is worth the potential losses. HTML5 and hybrid apps can’t keep up with native apps in this arena.

TheLadders, a job recruiting company, first selected HTML5 with their web app before switching to a native format. They found that the concept of “write once, run everywhere” wasn’t as simple as it seemed. Testing and retesting the app in different screen sizes and devices proved to be a challenge. These short-term changes led to the app only being released for iOS and receiving little success. The company then decided to rewrite the app natively. The developer team mastered native coding much faster than they thought. The result was a much smoother, faster, and modern-looking app.

Having a native app can give you an edge over the competitor. Domino’s and Delta Airlines have both used native apps to give increased convenience to their customers. The result is beating out competing companies who may have outdated or slower apps.

If you don’t believe that your company’s app performance is very important or necessary, an HMTL5 or hybrid app may be a fine choice. A company looking to create a truly pleasing app may consider a native format. The investment in time and money will pay off with better app performance and increased customer satisfaction.

Contact Colure’s development team to discuss which format may be best for your company’s objectives and your customer’s UX.

Micro-communities and Influencers

Micro-communities and Influencers

Marketing to micro communities – or niche marketing – is an effective method to place your company directly in front of a specific audience. Focusing your efforts to a limited segment of an audience can often create momentum from within a community.

Niche communities tend to be relatively small, tight-knit, and interconnected. Within these communities, there are certain individuals who are more pronounced than other members. These individuals are usually well-respected trendsetters with many followers. Their trendsetting ability earns these people the nickname of ‘influencers.’ Targeting these influencers is key to niche marketing. 81% of companies who use influencer marketing report positive results.

The jewelry company Benique saw a 300% increase on their return on investments (ROI) after starting their campaign. They provided free samples to influencers in return for reviews to their audience. They then collaborated further with the influencers who truly loved the product. Although finding influencers took time, the results paid off.

Context matters when seeking the right influencers. Don’t base your search on a given number of followers only. Katy Perry may have 62 million Twitter followers, but her approach to marketing her music may not be the best choice to promote a software company. Her mass following may actually be a disadvantage. Her overall engagement with followers is low and many of these followers are probably teenagers who are not interested in software. Search for influencers who can create action within your intended audience.

Working with influencers is a business relationship. Popular influencers may receive offers from your competitors. There should be some compensation from your company. The compensation doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary. The web hosting company Cloudways had trouble creating relationships with influencers when they began their marketing efforts. After several unsuccessful attempts, they tried a new approach. Cloudways offered to interview influencers and feature the interview on their website. This allowed the influencers to receive promotional exposure from Cloudways. The business-influencer relationship ended up being beneficial to both parties.

Traditional marketing techniques have moved from their role as a primary tool to augmenting the specific application of niche marketing techniques. The function of each marketing method becomes an additional tool in the ever evolving, media-based world. Creativity is essential to drive your brand’s success. Using influencers in a creative way will keep your business ahead of the competition and in front of those community members who lead the pack.

Exploring a complementary user experience

Exploring a complementary user experience

An excellent user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) is necessary in today’s interconnected world. In our lives, it’s common for users to use multiple smart devices in multiple environments. As users move between devices, it makes sense to transfer a user’s UX across those platforms. An example of this type of event may start by watching a Netflix movie on your living room television. After a while, you get up and continue watching that film on a laptop in the garage while you work on the lawnmower. That singular experience is maintained through different environments and platforms.

The key is providing a seamless UX within a user’s network. Each device becomes an extension of that network; each is a compliment for the other devices in that network. A complementary user experience allows for mobile applications and experiences to intermingle across these platforms. The true essence of the event is found in the experience, not the network.

Mobile gaming apps are another type of application that can benefit from complementary designs. SMHK Funklab’s game Padracer uses an iPhone as a steering wheel and an iPad as a racetrack. Extra iPads can be added to the game as well. The creativity behind Padracer led to its success as one of the first mobile games with a complementary design.

There are two main types of complementary designs: collaboration and control. In a collaborative design, two different devices have different functions. Padracer falls into this category. Control designs allow for one device to remotely control the other which typically serves the main function. An example of this would be using your smartphone to switch the song playing off Spotify from your laptop. Devices in the complementary ecosystem can also fall into two categories: must-have or nice-to-have. A must-have device is required for the app to function. In the case of Padracer, an iPad and iPhone are must-have devices that are necessary to use the app. Additional iPads add to the experience but aren’t required. These extra devices fall under the nice-to-have category.

A complementary design can unlock endless options for a business to provide an enriched experience for app users. More and more companies are discovering how a complementary UI/UX can lead to company growth. A study by AppDynamics discovered that 65% of people have very high expectations for app performance. Additionally, 30% of customers would spend more money on a company with a good app. If your business uses a mobile app, consider how multiscreen compatibility could boost your user experience.

Vital customer engagement (or how not to leave your customers at the door)

Vital customer engagement (or how not to leave your customers at the door)

Customer engagement (CE) is the living and breathing relationship that exists between a customer and a company. This critical relationship is a critical factor that helps to determine the success or failure of a company. The challenge to every business is that almost all buyers have different needs and wants. Consumers aren’t unanimous, even within similar demographics. There are different ages, lifestyles, ethnic backgrounds, etc. There’s an excellent chance that the motivating factors for one middle-aged customer may differ significantly from another. It’s incredibly important for a business to operate with their customer base as individuals.

So how do we go about the act of engaging a client? Here’s a few starting points to orient your mobile app marketing and digital advertising efforts:

  • An engagement marketing strategy is crucial. How will your company reach out to potential customers? How will you respond to their inquiries? Detailed analytics are necessary to help answer these questions. Actively learning about a customer’s lifestyles, rather than lumping people together based on a singular demographic. Remember, numbers are cold, your customers are real people. Think of them in that fashion. The more accurate and detailed your customer database is, the stronger foundation you will have for engagement.
  • Learn to predict consumer behavior. When looking at the unique lifestyle of your consumers, where can you see areas where they can benefit from your service or product? Big-box retailers like Walmart and Target do so by using data mining to notice trends in purchases. Walmart used data mining and discovered that Strawberry Pop-tart sales increased sevenfold before a hurricane in southern states. The reaction? Place Strawberry Pop-tarts at the cashier area of a store. More exposure to the pop-tarts increases sales even more. In the end, all parties benefit. Walmart and Kellogg’s experience increased sales, while customers have an emergency food source in case of natural disasters.
  • The benefits of customer engagement are limitless. Customer retention is critical. Customers can see the value in a company that puts the effort into satisfying their customer base. Satisfied clients can be the most powerful form of marketing. The family and friends of current customers are potential future customers. Nothing is more valuable than a recommendation from peer-to-peer. One survey even concluded that 92% of customers trust peer recommendations, compared to 47% trusting TV or magazine ads.

Customer engagement is beneficial, if not necessary, to a company’s success. Perhaps one of the most satisfying aspects of customer engagement is the company-client relationships built upon it. Increasing interaction cultivates and grows these relationships. Knowing that your company makes a positive difference in the life of your customers is a huge reward.