Associations and Mobile Apps

From time to time we hear from an association that they would like a mobile app.  Regardless of the reasoning for the request, there needs to be some questions answered by the association before going any further in the process:
  • What will the app do that is different than what the web site does?
  • Who is the target audience that will download the app software to their phone?
  • What is their incentive for downloading the app to their phone?
  • How do we meet that audience’s need with this app?
The association should answer these questions honestly, and they should answer it from the perspective of the mobile user, not themselves, because they are depending on the mobile user to download the app software, and then to use it.  Good, honest answers to these questions will lead any Association to an appropriate determination of whether an app is really necessary or not.  Sometimes it’s just a case of making the web site more mobile friendly for the specific purpose being considered.
If there isn’t a good reason for an app, there isn’t a good market for an app.  Period.  Ego apps don’t cut it.
And sometimes associations have to remember, email is mobile.