Demand for apps from WA brands has exploded in the past year, according to Adapptor founder Marc Loveridge.
But the former Market United boss - whose new company at just 14 months old has already delivered successful apps for high-profile clients, including Tourism WA and HIF - says the latest marketing plaything needs to be "either useful or playful" if it is going to succeed.
Already WA consumers can order a taxi, make an insurance claim, find a carpark or get the footy score, simply by using an app downloaded to a handheld device.
The "app-splotion" is being fuelled by the boom in device use.
A survey last month by Ipsos Media CT found 52 per cent of Australians now owned a smartphone and 94 per cent had used their phone for product research while 28 per cent had used it to actually buy a product.
A recent survey by Metrix Consulting discovered 20 per cent of West Australians already owned an iPad or tablet and 33 per cent planned to buy one in the next 12 months.
The Metrix research also found WA users were on their device for an average of 85 minutes daily, 47 per cent had an annual income greater than $104,000 and 60 per cent were upper "white collar" workers.
Mr Loveridge said app adoption was now at "about the same place" as website adoption was 10 years ago.
"The first conversations we had were with companies saying 'we think we need something, we think there is a gap in our strategy, come tell us what we need'," Mr Loveridge said.
"Now we're getting much more educated briefs, they understand from their research that their clients would like to have an app that does X, Y or Z."
Apps that provided neither a useful service nor had an element of entertainment risked being deleted and created poor brand association, he said.
Smart companies knew what their consumers wanted.
Tourism WA chief executive Stephanie Buckland said her organisation saw an app as a great tool to make information easily accessible "on the go". While it was "a visitor's pocket-sized guide" it was also important that it was relevant to locals.
"We were also passionate about the app having offline capabilities to help visitors reduce excessive data roaming charges and to make sure it could still be used in remote areas with no internet connection," she said.West Coast Eagles communications general manager Gary Stocks said the idea behind the team's app was to make supporters feel "a closer connection" to the club. Although "fairly new" it had been downloaded almost 10,000 times.
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