Category Archives: Sources

Mobile Apps Vs. Mobile Websites

Johann Lohrmann is an Atlanta-based, Emmy-nominated and multiple Silver Telly award-winning documentary film producer who currently conducts B2B research for well-established businesses.

AM vs. FM.
Beta vs. VHS.
SD vs. HD.
Flash vs. HTML.
Mobile Apps vs. Mobile Websites.

This isn’t a new discussion. The formats may change but the question of how to best deliver information hasn’t. Open for debate is how to deliver information and entertainment on the go. Some are predicting that mobile apps will eventually devoured by all things web. Others believe that mobile apps will allow for even more target/niche marketing.

The Basics

Mobile Website– a smaller version of a main website that is on your mobile device.  Think of accessing the Internet on your phone and then going to

Mobile App– program that is downloaded to a specific device, typically for a specific reason. Examples of the devices include iPhone/iTouch, iPad, Android, Blackberry….

An example of a mobile app is Locate Wi-Fi anywhere. It’s essentially a directory of international hotspots. We’re talking 140 countries so it’s perfect for the traveler.

For the past few years there’s been something of a debate between the better of the two. As with most items Internet related, it really depends on the user’s end goals.

Here are three considerations when venturing down the mobile app vs. the mobile web road.

The Considerations

1. Are you interested in reaching the masses or reaching a target/niche audience?

If you’re interested in reaching the masses then a mobile website is the way to go. A mobile website gives you another channel of contact in addition to your website.  Don’t be misled with the idea of a target audience here.

If you’re interested in reaching a target/niche audience then you’ll want to take advantage of the mobile app. Typically, there are three ways a user will learn of a particular app: invitation through beta testing, online via desktop (or online in general) or through a search on a mobile device.

Ok, so there were some obvious statements made there but think about how your audience finds you. Well-known sites liked LinkedIn and Facebook are the exception to this rule.

2. Think about it from the user’s point of view.

If you want the user to use an app for a specific task or for a limited number of tasks, then use a mobile app. The functionality of a mobile app works well within a device’s native application and the bonus is an Internet connection is not always required.

If you want to deliver content, then mobile websites are certainly the way to go. Content Management Systems like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla! make it fairly easy to enable the mobile website feature on the backend of a website.

3. The Start-up Costs and the Return on Investment

Cost is a factor that should be considered when weighing the pros and cons of using a mobile app vs. mobile web. Of course, cost takes different forms. There’s the education factor and then the dollar amount.

If you’re already building a website (especially on one of the popular CMS platforms) then it’s relatively easy to activate the mobile website element. In the long-term mobile websites typically cost less and are easier to maintain. When a change is made to the parent website a change is also made to the mobile website.

Contrast the mobile website with the mobile app.  With a mobile app you are limited when it comes to the do-it-yourself option.  As well, a mobile app that works on an iPhone will not work in its particular form. To put it to you another way, you’ll need a developer to produce an app for each device. And if you want to update the mobile app then you’ll need to work with a developer to do so.

The Takeaway

The Idea Mobile App Mobile Web
The Basics Produced for a specific task (Angry Birds). Smaller version of your website (CNN Mobile).
Your Audience Reaching the masses. Targeted/Niche audience.
User’s Experience Specific Task (Games, entertainment, device utilities….) Delivering content including services and information.
Start-up, ROI Easy to activate off popular CMS platforms.
Not expensive to maintain overtime.
Each mobile device needs to have its own mobile app.
Can be expensive to change app overtime.

Mobile Website

Mobile Website

Your Audience

Your Audience

Mobile App
Mobile App


Johann Lohrmann
The Useful Research Blog | Effective research that you can use.

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Filed under Atlanta, CNN, Marketing, SEO, Sources

The Source

My grandfather was an expert when it came to making furniture. He converted the garage into a nice workspace and frequently he would make for us a table and a set of chairs. It was strong, sturdy and reliable. He was a master craftsman and it showed. He used the best wood and had the best tools. They weren’t shiny and new but they were durable.

Business research works in the same way. There are sources that are tried and proven but trouble starts when you veer off course. As a research analyst, there is nothing quite as frustrating as someone ‘finding’ information that is old, unreliable and unproven. Here are three ways to ensure that your sources are reliable and effective.

1. Remain neutral

This isn’t a game of bingo and chances are slim that your first source will be the perfect fit or answer all your questions. It’s easy to find information. But the information needs to answer the question and provide toward a workable solution. Remaining neutral means leaving the emotions out of the equation. Look at the information. Analyze it. It must not only answer your question but it must provide an added value as well.

2. Develop reliable resources

A farmer does not plant a seed on Monday and expect to see a full crop on Tuesday. Developing resources takes time. Institutions, associations and organizations can typically offer insight that a competitor cannot and even then there is a hierarchy to their usefulness. Look at the organization. How long has it been in business? Is the institution considered respected by others or is just lagging along in the middle of the pack?

3. Balance

Just as an acrobat learns how to properly balance, so too must one when he is conducting research. Information that comes from one source and answers all your questions is not likely to be effective. Information that is selected from a myriad of sources can easily spiral out of control and flat-line your project. The best approach is to work with 3 reliable and effective sources and slowly add more sources as needed. It’s okay if you find an incredible source that answers part of your question. Use it. Find another source and work the puzzle in the same way.

Follow these basic rules and your research skills will not only improve but the information you find will make your life much easier.

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Filed under Balance, Reliable, Research, Resources, Sources