Native App, Responsive Web or Hybrid: What Do You Need?


Digital media will have a landmark year in 2016, with advertising sales of $68 billion predicted to surpass television's $66 billion and become the No. 1 advertising category in the United States. The latest forecast from Magna Global seems to cement digital media - and mobile in particular - as the de-facto channel for organizations looking to effectively promote their messages.

Around the world, low-cost smartphones are transforming the way consumers interact with companies, particularly in industries like financial services, media and publishing, retail and transportation. The question for brands is how they can capitalize on the opportunities of a dramatically changed (and ever-evolving) digital landscape?

While "going mobile" is clearly the answer, the difficulty lies in determining exactly which digital approach works best. For example, should an organization's digital marketing strategy include native mobile application (app) development, or should it rely solely on responsive web properties? What about social media? Whatever you choose, it's important to create the best possible user experience - especially since more than half of millennials say a poor app experience is a major turnoff for any company.

To make sure you get the customer experience right, let's take a look at your digital marketing options.

Native Mobile Apps

Consumers spend more than 85 percent of their smartphone using native apps. Optimized across the various platforms (e.g. iOS, Android, Windows, etc.), native apps result in higher engagement than other marketing alternatives, thanks to rich user experiences and faster load times.

Responsive Websites

Built correctly, responsive websites can be available on any device and platform/operating system. This dramatically reduces the costs and complexity of updating content and adding new features. However, certain features available with native apps (such as push messaging and full use capabilities), are limited with responsive websites.

Hybrid Apps

There have been phenomenal advancements in wrapping software (such as Apache Cordova) and the HTML5 language, which allow websites to more closely mimic the app experience. Although it does help bridge the gap between responsive web and native app development, hybrid solutions have limitations. For example, the same functions would be available on all devices and platforms, with no distinguishing between the two.

What Should You Do?

Ultimately, the option that best suits your company depends on your organizational goals, characteristics of your customers, available budget and skills/capabilities of your existing IT teams. However, when it comes to functionality, ease of use and overall consumer satisfaction, native apps present the best of what today's advertising technology has to offer.


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