To App or Not to App? Article 2 of 4 in our Briefing Engagement Strategy Series

By Ellen Barnes Pfiffner, EBP Business Consulting and Darby Mason-Werner, Director of Client Solutions, Signet


The proliferation of hand-held devices makes engaging customers before and after the briefing table-stakes. There are three key advantages of engaging customers through their own devices. The first is familiarity. You’ll not have to deal with ‘how does this work?’ questions. Second, are lower expenses because you do not have to purchase or maintain additional hardware for the customers to use while in the center. And finally, customers are comfortable using their own device before, during, and after the briefing. An ancillary advantage is engagement platforms with BYOD now offer integrated and automated approaches that provide more valuable information for customers and more analytics for briefing programs to gain management support for implementing the technology.



Customers anticipate enhanced engagement; it is no longer something that just the large and/or award winning programs do. An unexpected challenge for briefing programs is fewer customers want to access the information via an app. The mobile app boom was kicked off in 2008, when Apple introduced the App Store. Anecdotally we are hearing that customers just don’t want another App especially for a one day briefing.



To combat the resistance, briefing programs are working with account managers to communicate the value of having customers download the briefing app. Account teams experience firsthand the personalized and customized customer experience and they become App ambassadors. Other programs ensure that their App is easy to locate. The more optimized your listing is, the higher you rank and more discoverable your app becomes in the App Store. There are many factors that contribute to your App Store Optimization (ASO) ranking, including keywords and rating. Strong graphics and a recognized name and logo will help customers locate your App.



In summary, the goal of any engagement strategy is to ensure a consistent user experience from any mobile device. Briefing professionals have alternative ways to engage customers before, during, and after the briefing. If you choose to develop an App, collaborating with internal and external partners are key steps to delighting your customers. In our next blog article, we will discuss best practices of alternatives to Apps.


Ellen Barnes Pfiffner, M.Ed.,CMM – Ellen is the principal of EBP Business Consulting and offers benchmarking, tools, and consulting to executive briefing programs globally, on-site ABPM Competency courses, and customized training programs including Facilitation Skills. Active in the ABPM for 15+ years, Ellen has published Briefing articles on numerous topics and , has served on the ABPM Advisory Board . She can be contacted at:,, or at 214-789-3571.

Darby Mason-Werner, Director, Client Solutions – Darby has been a member of the briefing profession for more than 15 years having built and managed the Xilinx Corporate Briefing Center Program before joining Signet in February 2016. She has been an ABPM member since 2003 and served on the ABPM Advisory Board. Darby is a frequent presenter at ABPM conferences including Core Competency Curriculum courses. She can be contacted at: or 408-472-8181.


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