Mobile Marketing: How Small Businesses Can Leverage the Power of Apps
December 21, 2013
•IADT General, Internet Marketing
• 0 Comments
The widespread use of smart phones and tablets has seen a significant increase in app-based marketing, allowing businesses to directly engage with customers, receive timely payments for goods and services, and conduct targeted advertising. The appeal of these mobile devices to consumers stems from their features, functionality and convenience: they are lightweight, easily connect to the Internet, are portable and can perform various tasks including online shopping. With a well-executed mobile marketing strategy, business owners can leverage the proliferation of mobile devices to meet potential customers at this point of convenience.
Rise of the Apps
Mobile devices, particularly smartphones and apps, have revolutionized the way business is transacted. No other area is experiencing their impact more than the business community. Suitable apps for business ensure customers have access to time- and location-sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services and ideas.
Having a website for your business is ideal, but having an app is becoming just as vital. Investing in an app that helps you communicate with customers as well as allow them to give feedback and review your products or services can be a good way to keep your company in consumers' minds. Here are some tips on how to go about it:
- Decide what platforms will carry the app (Android, Apple, BlackBerry or Microsoft), establish who your target audience is, and have a thorough and realistic budget.
- Build a quality app. It should be intuitive, maximize user experience and minimize data usage and battery drain. Incorporate mechanisms for feedback, help, contact and opt-in alerts or offers.
- Assess the competition. What makes them popular (or not). Learn from their successes and failures, and assess what you can do better.
- Create hype. Be prepared to engage in a campaign for promotional purposes, such as securing media reviews and other publicity.
The essence of Internet marketing via your app is to attract new customers and generate sales. An app ensures a more interactive and intimate experience, but think like a customer and design an appealing interface that will win over your audience.
Potential Uses and Benefits of the App
As a mobile marketing strategy, an app is better than browsing the Web from a smartphone. It is much faster to launch, especially in an area with bad reception. The app can help you win new clients and also guarantee repeat business from your existing pool of clients. In addition, there is a robust suite of benefits that an app can offer, including:
- Efficient customer service. The app can be configurable to integrate the option to easily provide customer support. For instance, you may offer a guide or FAQ to cut down on lengthy support calls.
- Insights into your customers. An app will help you develop a personal touch and understand your customers, which is key to the success of your business. This is vital in developing promotional activities or defining target demographics more clearly.
- Increased sales. The app can help your business grow via existing customer referrals made on social platforms, push notifications for promotion of products and events, convenient payment processing for direct orders for products, and minimizing logistics between your business and customers.
- Customer loyalty. You can include a loyalty program within your app that ensures customers that come back are rewarded.
Apps also have customer benefits depending on the level of sophistication, including simplified access to inventory, directions to your store location, ability to scan for products via QR codes, notifications on product launches and special events, and more.
Mobile apps are no longer the preserve for big companies with huge budgets. Technology has ensured that small businesses can develop functional apps within their budget to enhance growth and retain customers.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.