HTML5 mobile-optimized website or native mobile apps?

The mobile app versus the website debate continues to be a hot topic for marketers from all industries.  I work with both apps and sites from a development and creative standpoint when helping my clients. It will be interesting to see what happens in 2012 as developers continue to use HTML5 to build websites. I have created a pros and cons overview of each below:

Mobile Apps

Pros:

  • Seamless mobile browsing experience
  • Number of downloads have yet to show a decrease
  • Use of QR to drive traffic to app can be useful in marketing awareness of app

Cons:

  • Building a different app for each device may become expensive to maintain

HTML Mobile-Optimized Website

Pros:

  • More cost effective to maintain
  • Useful for population that uses mobile alone with desktop
  • Across platform functionality built in through HTML5

Cons:

  • May not have the same user experience on mobile as on desktop

Ultimately, both mobile-optimized websites and native mobile apps can be very useful. It comes down to demographics and to your user base. Studies show that mobile app adoption hit its highest adoption rate in 2010 before the launch of HTML5. But studies also show an increase of game mobile apps. Games generated the highest number of mobile app downloads to date.

It will be interesting to see how the trends change in 2012. I suggest you cover all marketing bases. Be creative and innovative. Make sure your new website is optimized for all devices including: tablet, iPad, iPhone, Android and other smart phones. Then create a mobile app that incorporates social interactivity, geo-tagging, buzz and a game element. Depending on your goal, marketing budget and marketing plan, you may be able to touch your target demographic while expanding your user base.

To learn more, check out the following resources:

http://www.comscore.com

http://www.apple.com

https://market.android.com

http://www.gartner.com

http://mashable.com

– Corrie Westmoreland

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