Does My Practice Need a Mobile App?

When it comes to the perfect marketing strategy for your practice, there are many different options to consider. From paid advertising, to social media, to direct mail, and everything in between, there are many ways to stand out from your competition. In recent years, though, there is one marketing tool that seems to be catching the attention of many: mobile!

Because mobile devices are so popular, many practices are faced with the decision of how to best reach these people. That's where the idea of an app comes in. Easy to download and easy to use, the app is a strong option for many businesses. That being said, there are many different things to consider when choosing whether or not to actually create one. Consider the list of pros and cons below and decide whether or not an app is a viable option for your practice. Building an app can be a great decision for your practice but it can be a complex task when you're first getting started so be sure to understand what the project entails before you begin.

Pros

1. Convenience - Many people would say that the main benefit of an app is the convenience of the platform and the simple layout. Once an app has been downloaded, it can simply live on the main screen of a device and can be accessed at any time. Apps have a responsive design from the beginning, where some websites do not and they also have different features too. Geolocation is a one of the more popular features within an app. Owners can use this feature to remind patients about an appointment at their practice depending on what area they're in or simply when the customer is passing by. Also, unlike websites, some apps are still fully functional and can be used without a wireless connection.

2. Brand Awarenes - Having an app available in the App Store can help people learn about your business when they are browsing and that is a great start. But it doesn't stop there! Once a person downloads an app, he or she can easily connect to or share their app interactions on social media. Most apps can be linked to social media platforms and they can post updates on Facebook pages, etc. This is great for businesses because the more times an app is mentioned on a user’s social media page, the more people that are introduced to the practice.

Cons

1. Cost - For starters, there are two different app stores called iOS and Android. Because of this, most business owners have to spend the money to get two app versions developed. Building apps can also be more complex than building a website which means more time and more money. Apps are still more cost-prohibitive to create for many markets.

2. Maintenance - reating the app is only one part of the process. Maintaining the app is a whole other part of the process. Because apps are downloaded to phones that are constantly being updated, the apps have to be tweaked over time so they can successfully run on these phones.

Hopefully this will give you an introductory idea of what to expect when considering whether or not to build an app. There are many pros and cons out there about the process but these are a good starting point as you begin to decide what the future of your marketing plan is.