Marketing has taken the shape of many forms over the years.  At one time it was important to place an ad in the Yellow Pages or the local newspaper to make sure your business is noticed.  And then came mass mailing and eventually targeted mailing that filled your mailbox with sales fliers.  More recently the internet has evolved to allow online marketing to flourish with the added benefit of quantifiable measurements and metrics to help businesses realize a return on their investment.

The evolution of marketing has not stopped at search engine optimization or targeted email subscriptions, however.  Mobile phone applications – or “apps” for short – have begun to spread as a very useful marketing tool.
Making a mobile phone app requires some preparation.  The following are some steps to take when looking at building a mobile phone app for marketing purposes:

Who is your target market?  You should clearly understand the demographics of the people that will use your mobile phone app.  Are they young teenage girls?  Will they be college grads who are looking for a job?  Are they business people needing services?  Will they be families looking for entertainment?  Will the person be located in a specific area or city? Outline your target audience and all of their anticipated traits, hobbies and habits.

What is your product or service?  Clearly define what you intend to sell and have a goal in mind.  Would your target market be looking for desserts, and you want to encourage them to find your ice cream shop?

How will the app work?  Outline sequentially how a target prospect might utilize the application to purchase your product or service.  Or they might be interested in purchasing the app that provides the service.  Think about how the app would work and use a storyboard technique to illustrate the app being used.

What devices will the app work with?  There are different programming languages for iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and other mobile phones.  You may want your app to work on all of these platforms, so you should be prepared to pay for programming on each platform. 
How will you measure success?  Is the number of people who download your app important?  Will you be able to measure how often people use the app in order to purchase your product or service?

Who will create the app?  There are many companies who specialize in creating mobile phone apps.  The businesses range from small one or two person contractors to sophisticated marketing and development agencies.  It is a good idea to get at least four proposals from a variety of businesses and weigh the pros and cons for each.

The use of mobile devices including phones and tablets has skyrocketed, and the forecast is that the growth has only just begun in this market.  By leveraging mobile phone apps now, your business can take full advantage of another new marketing paradigm.