Socrates once said that the secret of change is to focus all one’s energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new. As digital technology is changing at an accelerated pace, entrepreneurs and business owners are trying to keep pace! Marketing is critical to the success of a business, but the challenge arises in how to best deploy cash and other resources.
It was not long ago that services such as email marketing and text message marketing were cutting edge trends. These services were somewhat effective, but limited because they were built on a stand-alone platform that hindered change. Now, businesses have entered the age of the mobile app.
Previously, apps were too expensive for most businesses, but no longer. Creating a mobile app can be cost effective and give one’s brand a presence in the Apple and Android app stores. Apps work well for most businesses, assuming they are planned and developed strategically. An app is not an end, but rather a means to help accomplish a comprehensive marketing strategy. Traditional forms of marketing still have value, however, we live in a digital time where consumers are constantly utilizing mobile devices.
Here are five main points to consider when developing a personalized app for one’s business:
The logo, slogan, colors, etc. should be consistent and identifiable throughout the app. This step is often overlooked. The app provides an opportunity for one’s brand to stick in the minds of consumers.
Having a single, centralized system saves time and money. An app should build linkage between itself and other services such as websites, social media and email marketing. This creates efficiency. Also, promote the app in other forms of advertising, such as print, television, radio, videos, etc.
The average consumer has 25 apps on a mobile device and usually only keep apps used consistently. When developing an app, one should make certain to include interactive tools that prompt responses such as “Enter to win,” “Share the app,” and “Like us on Facebook.” Push notifications with re-direct links and even games for youth to play also work well.
A well thought out loyalty and rewards program translates into repeat business and increased revenue. An app allows customers to carry a digital punch card at all times without having to maintain paper or plastic cards. When the digital card fills up an automatic reward notification and coupon are sent. In addition to using an app to offer discounts, it can also feature new products, services, upcoming events or offer a free consultation.
Business owners sometimes stay uninformed. Instead, assimilate and analyze actual data and know the answers to these questions: What is actual return on investment (ROI)? How many people were reached? How many new customers were gained? Choose a service provider that gives tools to help identify who the most loyal clients are and which clients should be rewarded.
Originally published in Gulf Coast Woman Magazine.