So you’re looking to implement new app tools into your app. This might be an analytics tool, an mCRM tool, an A/B testing tool, or all of the above. But with a seemingly never-ending list of possible candidates, how do you know which is the right one for you? Here are share some of the common pitfalls we’ve experienced during the selection and integration process.

 

Choosing Your App Tools

Let’s start right at the beginning – what are you trying to achieve? Actually, let me rephrase that – what is your business trying to achieve? While you likely have one specific use case in mind for implementing an analytics tool (for example), it can be easy to forget the wide range of use cases it might be useful for – UX, product development, marketing, ROI for acquisition activity… the list goes on. While this effect is more pronounced in larger companies where interdepartmental communication perhaps isn’t as frequent, it can affect all sizes of business.

Now we’re not trying to cause a bureaucratic nightmare for you. But just reaching out to understand other departmental goals can be the most efficient way to ensure the tool is integrated in the most valuable way possible. Even a few useful tracking events can make a world of difference.

 

Integrating Your App Tools

Once we’ve established the goals, we need to think about how the tool will integrate with your existing information architecture.

This might seem like an obvious point, but that belief might cause problems for you down the line. We’ve seen businesses leave this consideration until last, with the belief that they would just build any integrations that would be required. Unfortunately, this almost led to a very messy journey where information was to be passed through four different systems before reaching the app, rather than allowing the tool to collect and deliver information to the app directly. That sort of journey is going to open you and countless colleagues up to all sorts of potential technical problems, and also lead to limitations on how you can use the tool at all.

Understanding and planning this information architecture ahead of time will allow you to realistically evaluate the value of a tool, in terms of the extent to which you can even use its intended functionality. This knowledge alone can place one tool a head above the rest.

 

Selecting Your App Tools

At this point, we’re ready for – drum roll please – selecting your tool!

Now that we’re approaching our tool selection with a clear idea of the goals and limitations we need to consider, we can actually have a look at the aforementioned never-ending list. There are a few different types of tool to look out for, the capabilities of which are going to be of different value to different types of business.

The market leaders are the big guys, the ones you’ve probably already heard of. They often come with a wide range of functionality that can tackle multiple different areas you’re looking to address, all with one SDK – your developers will be thrilled. These types of tool tend to be more useful for the larger businesses – they can meet a lot of different requirements, albeit sometimes at a surface level.

They’re definitely not, however, always the best option. There are a number of slightly lesser-known tools which again have a wide range of functionality, but who have built their product out to cater to involved users who want deep, complex and sophisticated capabilities. For a lot of businesses, these will be capabilities that would go unnoticed, but for those of you that are feeling slightly more ambitious, this could be the type of tool you should be looking for.

To ensure the functionality of a tool will be sufficiently thorough for the use cases you may have in mind, always ensure to ask a lot of questions around whether they will be possible. We have in the past mistaken the capabilities of a function purely because we thought the function was built for a certain purpose – but in reality it had been built out with an entirely different purpose in mind. Never assume the “obvious”!

There are also a number of great specialist tools – these are the tools that concentrate on one particular functionality, and they’re great for businesses that are attacking one particular problem in a very focused way. The caveat with this is that if you take this approach for multiple different tasks, you’ll end up with a lot of different SDKs to be implemented and you’re not likely to be in your developers’ good books!

Want to find out more about optimising your app and integrating the best tools for the job? Get in touch by visiting the Contact Us page. Follow us on LinkedIn, chat with us on Twitter @yodelmobile, and join our #mobilemarketingUK LinkedIn group.

Read more from Megan: Mobile Web and Its Future and Dark Traffic and Its Rise, Part 2: How to Avoid Dark Traffic