The future of mobile apps has amplified into one of the hottest topics of debate in mobile marketing.
Articles appear almost daily proclaiming “The App Boom is Over” or the polar opposite “The App Boom is Not Over.” While prophecies vary dramatically, it’s clearly evident the vast majority of mobile apps fail to live up to their promises.
So what does the future hold for mobile (apps or otherwise)? A recent Inc. Magazine article penned by Wrap Chief Creative Officer Mark Rolston explored the concept of Cards as the basis for a much simpler, more effective and relevant alternative to mobile apps. As Mark explained, card-based storytelling dates back to the early days of Apple, but Cards are now blazing new trails in the mobile web.
As a simple description, a Card can offer dynamic information, images, content, video – even calls to action and transactions. Combined in innovative ways, Cards can orchestrate a personalized experience for the mobile user in ways apps cannot. They can be triggered by something as simple as a link sent via SMS to more complex location-based actions that inject info onto a customer’s mobile screen right when they need it.
In earlier blog posts we’ve explored many shortcomings of mobile apps. They cost a small fortune to build and maintain. Brands must rely on people making a decision to download the app. Then people also have to actually open and use them for an app to be effective.
Conversely, a Card-based platform allows information to be served up to the user in the moment and on the user’s terms and without the constraints of an app. As Mark noted in the Inc. Magazine article,
“Dialogs are universally connecting. People tell stories–so do brands. And because the web is still wild with every form of content known to man, we can reduce a lot of the complexity with the simplicity of cards. With their standardized form factor and ease of consumption, cards can be assembled into meaningful packages, ultimately becoming a new media form.”
The simplicity, flexibility and elegance of a Card-based platform makes for a powerful alternative at a time when mobile users demand a more meaningful, engaging and useful experience with brands.