As an app builder, specifically focused on the needs of non-profits, we hear a multitude of reasons both for and against harnessing mobile apps and technology in general for member engagement!
Unfortunately, a few outdated beliefs regarding mobile technology and member usage have lived past their relevance. If you still find yourself believing in the below myths, it is time for an update!
“My members are too old for a mobile app”
As smartphones become the norm, this statement has become nothing more than a past perception.
In fact, 83% of adults between the ages of 30-49 own a smartphone. For those between 50-64 and 65+ years old, it’s 58% and 30% respectively. Is your member average age above 65? If not, most likely a majority of your members are mobile-ready!
Overall, the total number of adults who own smartphones has doubled since 2011 from 35% to 68%. As smartphones continue to expand across markets, these numbers will only continue to increase.
“Shiny technology is a millennial magnet”
This subject was broached in an AssociationNow article in Fall of 2014 (see article), and it is perfect timing for a brief rehash of the subject.
It’s no secret technology usage is highest among the millennial generation. However, it would be hasty to assume technology alone will draw millennial users to your association. If your application of technology results in an experience that is not expected or doesn’t meet their needs, the millennial crowd, like most, won’t return.
Focus on building a tech strategy that enhances your organization’s unique offerings. If the technology helps support your millennial members’ goals, it is sure to win!
“We have a responsive website so our members don’t need an app for engagement”
According to Flurry, it is an app world, and users spend 90% of their time on mobile inside apps not a browser. With a mobile website, you can successfully maintain a transactional relationship with your members, but engagement is difficult.
While responsive does address screen size, its inferior performance (slower) and user experience (no notifications, camera, contacts, location, offline storage) makes your website the wrong channel to use for mobile engagement.
Apps are for the young, the young-at-heart, and may be perfect for your members; if the apps support your goals as an organization and provide benefits to your members!