From our experience building apps for customers, these are six things to look for in a Mobile Provider. Finding the right mobile provider(s) for your association will depend greatly on your strategy, and finding the right mobile partner for you is just like finding a partner for other products used by your organization.
Keep in mind that there are 3 different paths – mobile website, out-of-the-box apps, or custom apps. As a result, your firm will likely have more than one mobile provider in your mobile ecosystem, because the best apps do a select number of things well.
Employing this strategy empowers you to select which aspects of your member value proposition mean the most to them from their mobile devices.
Here are some tips to look for in a mobile provider:
How much experience does the prospective mobile provider have? What is their methodology for application development (or in the case of an out of the box app, what are their development plans?)
Look at their examples and use them – do they work smoothly? Support the user experience you’re seeking?
- Partner vs Vendor
What is the prospective provider’s approach to mobile development? Will they be your vendor (ie, providing the platform with little support) or your partner? (ie, providing consulting services around marketing your site/app, guidelines, tailoring new development in response to your inquiries)
- Tailored Solutions
What is possible/not possible to tailor about the mobile provider’s solution? Will the app be branded for your organization? What controls will you have over navigation items, language, icons, colors? Will these changes be executed by you or by the provider? Did the provider create the application in house, or pay a third party to develop it? If a third party, how does that impact your ability to tailor your solution for your members?
- Word of Mouth
What do other firms say about your prospective mobile partner? What can you learn from their experience?
How much does it cost?
This piece was adapted from Association Media and Publishing dossier.