A common misconception among smaller organizations and often regional chapters of larger organizations, is that because of your size, you don’t need a mobile app. We would argue that that perspective is flawed because it’s not about how many people you are reaching, it’s about how you are reaching your people. How many members or partners you have is beside the point when determining how to best reach them and how they choose to consume content. Whether it’s 250 people or 25,000, your goal to provide an excellent service and experience is the same, isn’t it?
Ask yourself, “Are we too small for a web site?” If you answered no, then you aren’t too small for a mobile app either! Mobile apps have surpassed web sites for the 2.7 billion smart phone users in the world and the trend is not going to make a sudden (or even slow) reversal. Just as web-based communication surpassed printed newsletters and mass mailings, your mobile apps will surpass your web site. Everybody has a web site today. And soon everyone will have a mobile app. Don’t get left behind.
(If you answered yes to the question above, 1991 called and it wants its mindset back.)
It’s Not Overwhelming
If your fear is that your small staff will be overwhelmed with the technical aspect of implementation and the maintenance of the app, have no fear! The beauty of a well-designed, configured native app is that it’s productized, meaning it’s been refined over time before it even became market ready. The implementation, including integration with your databases and other software solutions, is done by the development team, not your IT staff.
The launch of an app is really a marketing function, not an IT function. You may have to develop a strategic plan for communicating and marketing the launch of your app, but it should definitely not be a technical headache. Whether you are a small organization or a local chapter of a bigger association, you can manage your use of the app just as easily as you manage any outreach and engagement with your members.
More Bang for Your Buck
Smaller organizations are great at stretching budgets, cutting excess and simplifying processes so that they can make an impact on their audience without jeopardizing their bottom line. Often you have limited resources or opportunities to get in front of your members/customers/partners, but a mobile app is a tool that can accomplish this instantly. Send notifications, send reminders, create group chats, register and pay for events, update profiles, engage in forums, post relevant documents and information, and strengthen the community --- all in your app.
Say Hello to a New Revenue Source
Smaller organizations and chapters can monetize the app just as easily as larger ones can. Don’t think of it as just a marketing and communications expense, but rather as an investment to generate increased revenue. Many big for-profit consumer brands have acknowledged that in-app advertising is more effective than web advertising. Banner ads and sponsored content, for example, are a few no-brainer, successful revenue generators.
Small organizations and chapters can harness the power of mobile app to achieve big things. So, the next time you think you are too small for a mobile app, summon your inner Napoleon and squelch that faulty thinking so you can conquer your goals and dominate your market!