By now, you know all about the trend towards mobile. Everybody you know has a smartphone, and everyone you don’t know probably does too. Recently, you’ve probably been hearing that the mobile trend makes apps the perfect platform for businesses to reach their customers. The question, though, is whether or not that is true for engineering firms.
Should engineering firms have their own app? Great question. Well, as it turns out, the answer is dependent upon what your goals are – which means that there isn’t a cut and dry answer for every engineering firm. Let’s take a look at some of the things to consider when determining whether or not to invest in an app for your engineering company. Here are a few questions that provide a good place to start.
1. Will people use my engineering firm’s app?
This is probably the most important factor to consider. When it comes to actually developing your app, there are an abundance of options – from custom-designed and developed solutions to do-it-yourself options that might not have an abundance of features.
Remember this, though: no matter how much effort you put into building your engineering firm’s app, having an app for your engineering company is only worthwhile if people use it. Apps aren’t like websites – they are actually stored on your users’ phones. Anybody can find a business online and get useful information from a site. Not many people, though, will download a business’ app unless they have a connection to that business that gives them a reason to do so. It’s not easy to get a share of users app space on their phones. If you can get in, though, that space is valuable.
2. Will my engineering firm’s app do anything new?
The answer towards this question will go a long way towards answering the first question. If your app doesn’t do anything new, then people probably won’t use it. And if nobody uses it, then it’s not worth your time to build.
Put another way: If your app only does things that your site does already, then people will have no reason to download it.
So, what are some examples of something “new”? How about an app that lets potential customers visualize or model the project beforehand? Or an app that’s useful for internal purposes – say, for your employees to use when tracking progress on a project.
At the end of the day, though, if your app doesn’t do anything except list your business’ information, then your audience probably won’t see a reason to download it.
3. Will my app take advantage of the benefits of mobile?
So, why should an engineering company get its own app? Well, like we’ve already mentioned, the trend towards mobile is undeniable. When done well, an app presence can go a long way towards making this trend benefit your business – but only if it takes advantage of the benefits of mobile platforms. Two of the most important are:
- Mobile apps are interactive – apps can offer easily interactive features that websites simply can’t. Apps can make use of all of the capabilities packed into users’ smartphones (cameras, location technologies, etc.), giving them the edge over mobile websites in this area.
- Your mobile app can stay top of mind – when apps are successful, they function as an almost constant advertisement for your brand, keeping it at the top your customers’ or employees’ minds. This is a distinct advantage over a website, which, as we’ve mentioned, doesn’t actually live on your users’ phones.
A Possible Alternative to an App for Engineering Firms
If you know that your app will serve a worthwhile purpose, take advantage of mobile, and create real user engagement, then congratulations! Your engineering firm should have its own mobile app.
If the answer isn’t as clear, though, don’t despair. You can still take advantage of the mobile trend by making sure that your engineering company’s website is optimized for mobile devices. This means that you’ll give your mobile viewers a platform for engaging with your brand in an easy, intuitive way – even if that’s not necessarily through an app.
Ready to Take Your Engineering Firm Mobile?
At New North, we’re experts in digital marketing, and we offer both mobile app development services for engineering firms and mobile website redesigns. And, even if you’re still not sure which option is the best way for you to take advantage of the mobile platform, we’d love to help. Get in touch with us online for a no-pressure 30-minute review, and we’ll help you determine the right path forward.
Jon is an inbound strategist with a passion for helping clients take the mystery out of their marketing. His goal is to write about digital marketing using as little jargon as possible. He’s watched a few too many Pittsburgh sporting events.