There are amazing off-the-shelf mobile app platforms that offer alternatives to plowing $50,000 or more into building a custom mobile app for your foodservice business.
An app, by its very definition, is a tool — simply a mechanism to help deliver your marketing and sales messages. This also means a mobile app isn’t necessarily a branding exercise which is often why custom apps become so expensive. Few companies build their own email marketing platform. It’s more effective to leverage MailChimp, Constant Contact or other off-the-shelf platforms out there.. Why would you build a mobile app platform unless you have some truly rare function found nowhere else?
Besides, these emerging app platforms offer capabilities your custom app will probably never include:
- Powerful user metrics to monitor who is using the app and how.
- Extremely fast go-to-market launch. You can create an app within days, not months.
- Delightfully simple — including automatic system and content updates. Version control for your latest PowerPoint is virtually guaranteed!
- Some platforms repurpose existing marketing and sales assets versus having to re-jigger everything to fit mobile devices. This is a huge time and money saver.
- Flexibility (at less cost) to create multiple versions or login possibilities to deliver different content to specific groups of users.
- And, in some cases, help you avoid the lengthy and often frustrating process to get your app approved for availability in the Apple and Android app stores.
At the very least, an off-the-shelf solution is the perfect stopgap while you’re contemplating the creation of a custom tool. At best, you may find you never need a custom app!
My favorite platform is LIA. Full disclosure: I do not make a penny from LIA, but I do help clients create and manage content on the platform.
Think of LIA as your sales intranet that sits inside your reps’ smartphones, iPads or Android tablets. All those powerful sales and marketing assets you’ve already produced are neatly organized in folders and searchable. Yet, the reps don’t have to connect to the internet to use it. Any asset can be emailed right from the app. Immediate statistics are available: who is using the app; who opens the info that is sent out; and what content is most often used so you can further refine the app’s value. And you can re-brand the app in many ways.
Want to try it? Drop me an email and I’ll set up a quick demo that uses a few of your existing assets to show you just how easy (and powerful) it is.
Next week: Do foodservice operators find value in recipes you provide?