October 31, 2016
By Cvent Guest

You think having a mobile app is a great idea. Scratch that. You know having a mobile app is a great idea. But you’re not really sure if the rest of your team—including your boss—is on board. If they need to be convinced first, here are a few tips on how to sell them on the idea of a mobile app.

Be prepared before you make the big pitch

It’s okay if you blurted out your idea for a mobile app during the elevator ride to your office, but now it’s time to make a strong case for it. Before you schedule a meeting with your boss or face a boardroom of executives, you should be ready to answer these questions:

  • Why do we need a mobile app?
  • What’s in it for us? How does it tie into our business objectives?
  • How will an app help our customers and consumers?
  • Which mobile app vendor should we go with?

This leads us to the next step….

Wow them with what you know

Consider the first question: Why do we need a mobile app? Now consider your company and its overall business strategy. There are two possible scenarios:

  • Your company has already made some type of effort to go mobile (think mobile-friendly websites, mobile payments, etc.
    If this is the case, you probably don’t need to show them a bunch of stats on how huge mobile growth is all over the world. Instead, wow them with your mobile app knowledge. Here’s one to get you started: 89% of time spent on media is through mobile apps (Nielsen).
  • Your company has made zero effort on the mobile front. Whomp whomp.
    In this case, you’ll need to show them how the world has gone mobile—and why it’s time for them to dive in. Google mobile stats and smartphone trends that prove your point, like this one: By 2020, 70% of the world will be using smartphones.

To sum it up: Do your homework. Gather facts from reputable sources. Start putting together a solid presentation that shows why your company needs a mobile app—and why having a mobile website isn’t enough.

Show them how they’ll win

Okay, you’ve convinced your boss that mobile is big and important and everywhere. Now let’s talk about the next question: What’s in it for us? Here’s what you do:

  • Focus on the results! Sure, it’s fun to talk about what mobile apps can do, but your boss wants to hear about the benefits. It’s hard to disagree with an idea when you show how it can save the company money and generate revenue.
  • It’s not all about the money, though, right? Make sure to talk about how a mobile app can boost engagement, build loyalty, and increase retention.
  • Hit home on how the mobile app aligns with your overall strategy and helps you meet business goals.

Don't take no for an answer

You don't want to give up too easily. Instead, be ready to hear the reasons why it won't work. Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • It’s too expensive
  • It’s not the right time
  • No one will use the app

Make sure you can tackle each one of these excuses with actual facts or data you’ve collected. If you need further help with this one, check out The New Event Essential ebook by CrowdCompass. While it’s meant as a guide for event and meeting planners, it has some good tips anyone can use to address concerns over a mobile app.

Explain why your consumers will be happy

Let’s be real. When your consumers are happy, your business is more likely to thrive, your event will be a greater success, and so on. Here are just a few ways your end user will benefit from a mobile app.

  • Fast, convenient, and improved experience
  • Saves them time—all the information they need is right on their phone and just one tap away
  • Alerts keep them updated and provide them with extra value
  • In-app messaging helps them feel more connected

Think about your target audience and how your mobile app will solve one of their problems, help them achieve something, improve their mood, or enhance their experience. Need some help with this? Get inspired by what other brands or app developers have done. For example, the Walgreens app has a messaging service so people can chat directly with a pharmacist.

Share success stories

After all this, if you still need more material, you can share how other brands have used a mobile app and achieved positive results. Even better, once you’ve done research on app vendors, you can use their case studies as examples for how your own company could benefit.

It might also help to stress these two things: 1) This doesn't need to be overwhelming! It's okay to start small and focus on other capabilities as you gain experience with mobile app technology. 2) Developing an app doesn’t mean abandoning the marketing techniques you’ve used in the past. As explained by this Forbes article, even though big brands like Nike and Starbucks have moved forward with mobile technology, they still integrate basic marketing principles to engage and connect with their customers.

Research app developers

If all goes well, the meeting might end with your boss asking your opinion on app vendors. Here are some things to consider when researching:

  • App features and their benefits
  • Overall service and reliability
  • What kind of support you need
  • How much control you want
  • Level of security and privacy
  • Gathering feedback and data
  • Measurable ROI

Some other things to consider are the size of the company, their experience, number of apps they’ve produced, and the cost of the app. If you’re an event producer or planner, this new survey by CrowdCompass and the Event Marketing Institute shows which features and factors are important now and in the next couple of years.

Be enthusiastic

This probably goes without saying, but everyone in the meeting should pick up on your excitement. If you deliver a boring presentation with a lack of conviction, your boss is less likely to be impressed. So do your research, prepare your business case, be passionate, and give your company the confidence they need to move forward with a mobile app.

Written by Valerie Zogas

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