We tend to think that the whole world is going mobile, but is it really? In order to find an answer to that questions, we research various industries and businesses to determine the penetration of mobile technology in their daily routine.
Thus, we have published some interesting finding about new opportunities mobile apps open for health and fitness, news distribution, personal finance, organic food market, museums and galleries, and many others. Today we’d like to touch a bit on mobile apps in consulting business and see what’s out there, and what is still not.
In one word, this segment of the marketplace is lowly saturated as there are no significant leaders and well-known applications. Therefore, new companies have wide opportunities to become a leader in this field. At the moment we can distinguish four types of applications developed by consulting companies. Let’s take a look at each of them.
- Knowledge sharing
- Financial and accounting tools
- Providing consulting services via mobile (free, trial or paid);
- Solely marketing and company promo tools.
That’s the most popular type of mobile presence for consulting companies. Usually, they include reports, legislations database, news updates and other useful information. This is a good way to raise customers loyalty and bring them real value, so it’s highly recommended for any service company application. Here are a couple of examples:
- apps from KPMG, EY and Deloitte give users access to their reports and research data;
- legislation applications like AllLaw and Liga (the last one is developed by Stanfy) provide users with laws, rules and other government documents;
- finance information provided by Bloomberg app gives users more info on investments and stocks market.
Provided via mobile, they are usually used for accounting and finance. Many also have an emergency phone number that gives an opportunity to connect with an expert on any urgent issues. Examples:
- Easy Books and NetClient NS give users opportunity to do accounting and payroll right away on their devices
- VB Attorneys app is made by accident & injury lawyers company. It brings value to the customers by providing emergency features: quick 911 shake-to-call, finding nearest hospital etc.
Consulting services via mobile
Funny enough this niche is very poorly represented. Some are free to use, but most include a free trial period with a paid option to upgrade to pro account. We’ve found only a couple of examples of apps where users have an opportunity to ask questions and hope for an answer from a professional:
- Ask A Lawyer – Android app, where user can post the question and get the free answer from WillisLayers.com.
- TurboTax – service providing tax consultancy. User is offered free trial and then in-app purchases, if satisfied.
App as a company marketing tool
This type of apps doesn’t really offer any specific value for a user except for providing basic info about a company like brief description, contact details or a contact form to schedule an appointment (i.e. Swenson Financial Services
). Hence, these kind of apps are rarely used by customers and rarely updated by companies. Usually, an app like this would be created as an echo of a company’s website. Nowadays as the technology develops and users become more and more demanding, apps like this look rather outdated.
February 5, 2014
As a conclusion, we would underline that there is a big potential for mobile technology penetration into the consulting business. As users become more and more technology savvy, most consulting companies are still lagging behind in using mobile as a communication channel with their customers. Most vendors still see a smartphone as a smaller version of a desktop in terms of app interface and type of solution mobile devices can provide to end users. This approach clearly needs to be changed, as mobile a very independent and widely used tool.
As we can see, apps that can provide users with true value (whether its static content or an interactive system of receiving recommendations from experts) are destined to succeed. Companies may also experiment with various pricing options and give users an option to obtain additional services via subscription or in-app purchases.