Recent controversy ensued when Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, called HTML5 “one of the biggest strategic mistakes we made.” referring to developing mobile HTML5 versus focusing on mobile apps. Although in the short term this may be correct as mobile apps are a better source of revenue for mobile marketing efforts at the moment, HTML5 mobile websites have their advantages. A hybrid approach will likely be more beneficial to most companies when they are planning their digital marketing campaigns.
The few current advantages of HTML5 mobile websites include the technology for HTML5 websites is not as robust as mobile apps, but it is a one type creation that can be accessed across all browsers and devices, whereas, mobile apps have to be designed and implemented in all of the different platforms. There is also the fact that you don’t have to download the app when using an HTML5 mobile website and you can just use as necessary. As the technology progresses the mobile marketing strategies will include more and more HTML5 mobile websites, but for now mobile apps reign supreme.
There are numerous advantages to mobile apps such as: offline availability, the data for the app is stored locally, the technology is more developed and user friendly, and they are more used my mobile users. Taking the time to integrate a mobile app into your mobile marketing strategy will allow you to capitalize on this opportunity. The ability to integrate a click to call function on your application will allow the customer to utilize this mobile marketing technique even when offline.
As the HTML5 technology improves and the mobile apps get easier and easier to create most companies are taking more of a hybrid approach. The transition for most universities and other public institutions has been all mobile apps to now mostly HTML5 websites and this may be a mistake as mobile apps still reign the mobile marketing opportunity. Using the best of both will allow you to prevent your company from pigeon holing your mobile marketing efforts and give the customer the best experience possible.
The bottom line is that you and your company should be engaging in one or the other right now; ideally both. If you do not take the opportunity to get in front of the growing number of mobile users with a good mobile marketing strategy now, you will be playing catch-up for the years to come.