While there is no denying that mobile marketing is how to reach your customer base anywhere and anytime, there’s often a bit of confusion about what is meant by the term ‘mobile marketing’ itself. Are you buying ad space in someone else’s successful app or are you building your own mobile app with which to engage your customer base? While both approaches have their merit, one puts your company in the position of a disruptor and a source of redirection from the audience’s current task while the other allows your brand and features to become a part of your customer’s everyday life.
When it comes to mobile marketing, you may be able to get started in-app ads, but nothing is more influential than an appealing and useful mobile app. For this reason, if you’re thinking about branching into the mobile market, we strongly encourage you to do more than just dip your toe in the water. Your company needs its own mobile app because your customers will use it. To help you provide an app that will both build the reputation of your brand and impress every customer who installs it, consider the following tips.
The first and most important thing we want to emphasise is to build your own app. It doesn’t have to be in-house with full-time programmers if your company doesn’t already have a mobile development team. What your app does need to be is original. There is an epidemic of cookie-cutter and copy-cat apps in every app store on every mobile operating system. Sometimes developers will make a single app and sell it dozens of times or, even worse, simply by an already-in-use template and sell slightly colour-shifted versions of that to dozens of additional clients.
Partly because of this cloning trend, it’s no longer enough to simply have a mobile app with a few basic features. In order to dodge being immediately disregarded as just another tag-along, your app needs to be unique, attuned to your business, and provide a valuable service or insight to your customers. For this, you will need a real developer who can work with you to build a custom app from scratch. You may even want to research which programming language, platform, and API connections you want to include to ensure that your app provides exactly what your customers need.
When you’re building a custom app, a world of possible features and design options opens up before you. Your first priority is to somehow translate your normal services, online features, and customer options into the mobile app. If, for instance, you are an eCommerce business, you will want to streamline mobile shopping, checking on orders, and providing last-mile delivery instructions. If you are a bank, customers should be able to use your app to check their accounts, pay bills, and make transfers for the ultimate convenience of banking on-the-go.
While we can’t practically cover examples for every industry that could possibly have an app, think carefully about what you provide and how to give that to your mobile customers. You may even want to innovate beyond what your website allows and then catch up your web design.
The next step is to make your company, team, and customer services accessible through the mobile app. Like any technical interface, you can almost guarantee that someone will run into a bug, a problem with their account, or simply be stumped by the interface and need to ask for help. When this happens, a quick live-chat, mobile call, or at the very least an email submission form makes it possible for users to request assistance quickly through the app.
Then there are customers who will actually go through most of their conversion journey while using the app. They may be delighted at your feature set, product selection, and user interface but still need some guidance into your services. This is the ideal time to have a live chat in your mobile communication channel because it allows new and returning customers to ask questions and receive friendly customer service to help them understand the options, make up their minds, and close a sale.
We’ve talked about offering your standard services and access through the mobile app, but one thing that you should put particular thought into is how the mobile app will help people in their daily lives and in real-world situations. Unlike websites, where you have been able to traditionally assume that your visitor is sitting safely at a desk, mobile apps are continuously used in the middle of events, social situations, while travelling, and as solutions to problems.
Consider what your app can do for customers who need something in the middle of a stressful situation. You might be able to save them a trip back home, to the office, or to a local store location by offering a fast and convenient mobile service through your app. The banking app allows people to make quick transfers while out running errands without having to swing by the local branch but you may need to get creative in finding ways to add service to your existing business model.
A restaurant’s mobile ordering and delivery app might, for example, allow customers to order scheduled meals days in advance and to change their order up until an hour before and their delivery instructions until the driver is out the door. This allows people to both self-cater with your app and to adapt to last minute changes in a circumstance like needing their meal delivered somewhere else or having an unexpected guest.
[To be Continued! … contact us ]