What We’ll Cover Today Overview of Notable Budgeting Apps The Strategy & Marketing Behind Your App How Social Media Can Drive Awareness (and Usage!) of Your App Bonus Material: Productivity Apps That Rock!
Notable Budgeting Apps Mint PocketMoney You Need A Budget (YNAB) DebtSnowball+
Notable Budgeting AppsApp Name: MintMobile Platform: iOS or AndroidDesktop Option: WebCost: FREEWho It Is Good For: Anyone who has a basic familiarity with mobile apps& mobile banking – assuming you have a supported bankWhat It Does:Mint.com, a leader in the mobile budgeting app arena, provides easy touse budgeting tools. It connects to the user’s personal bank accounts totrack and categorize expenses and it allows for manual user entry ofpending and/or cash transactions. It provides a solid overview of the up-to-the-minute status of your financial picture. Mint provides snapshots ofeach of your category budgets (i.e. your food budget), allowing for gooddecision making on spontaneous purchases. The biggest drawbacks ofMint are whether or not the user’s bank is supported and thatcustomizations are not allowed. The notification system is great for someand for others it can be ‘annoying.’
Notable Budgeting AppsApp Name: Pocket MoneyMobile Platform: iOSDesktop Option: YesCost: $4.99Who It Is Good For: More advanced budgeters; Tech SavvyWhat It Does:PocketMoney is yet another phenomenal budgeting app for iOS. Theapp is powerful and expansive, yet easy to use. With its smarttechnology, data entry is a breeze. It also offers features such asmulti-platform sync and photo receipts. Integration with other appsis also a big plus, including apps such as MPG, CheckPlease,BillMinder, and several others that use the iReceipt protocol.PocketMoney is the senior app in the marketplace and its ease of useand lack of kinks shows its’ experience. A word of caution: in-apppurchases for some of the additional functionality can get pricey.http://bit.ly/VNljCI
Notable Budgeting AppsApp Name: YNAB – You Need A BudgetMobile Platform: iOS or AndroidDesktop Option: Yes - $65Cost: FREE for Lite; $4.99Who It Is Good For:• Those new to personal finance/budgeting• The Budget-challenged• SinglesWhat It Does:YNAB is a simple app that allows the user to setup ‘accounts’ andstart to allocate their money into those accounts throughout the themonth. It’s based on the same principles of the bucket or envelopesystem with the goal being to always be a month or more ahead ofyour actual bills in each ‘account.’ The app refers to this as the ‘YNABBuffer.’ The downside is the upfront cost. It may also be toosimplistic for more advanced budgeters or people/families withcomplex finances.
Notable Budgeting AppsApp Name: Debt Snowball+Mobile Platform: iOS or AndroidDesktop Option: n/aCost: $1.99Who It Is Good For: Anyone Who is Overwhelmed By Debt; Visual LearnersWhat It Does:While there are several apps out there that leverage the Debt Snowballconcept to help users understand, manage and pay down their debts, thisspecific app adds in the component of education. Its has a great explanationof the debt snowball method and how to apply it in the user’s uniquesituation. Each bill is treated individually – the user must enter each debtseparately, name it, and add the original amount, current balance, minimumpayment due, due date and the interest rate. The app will notify the user ofwhen payments are due, encouraging them to stick to their debt repaymentschedule. Debt Snowball+ calculates the length of time it will take to pay offthe debt with minimum payments only. The user can opt to make extrapayments and the app will display how much money/time would be saved bypaying that extra amount each month.
App Strategy & Marketing “If you build it, it they will come…” This is no Field of Dreams – You NEED to tell EVERYONE about your appHave a SOLID plan for your app, including: Pre-planning the app What are your goals for the app? Do they align with the target audience’s goals? Who is the target audience? Are you sure…? What else is out there – how is your app better/different? What are your competitors doing? Are you filling a need or jumping into an already crowded pool? What is the lifecycle of the app? How do you plan to sunset the app and when? Are you going to charge for the app?
App Strategy & Marketing Building the app Are you building the app yourself with a DIY option or are you hiring a contractor? Have you budgeted enough to cover testing and unforeseen issues? Have you planned for testing, testing, and more testing… what about a limited release to beta-testers? How complex do you want your app to be? Is that necessary? DON’T FORGET TO SUBMIT THE APP TO THE iTunes App Store – approval is not automatic! Marketing the App Do you have a solid marketing plan to support the roll-out of the app? Is there a strategy behind the plan or is it just promotional efforts? Have you allocated enough dollars for the marketing initiatives? How does the marketing of this app fit within the overall marketing plan for the organization? How will you market it at various intervals in its lifecycle? New Feature Upgrades & Roll-Outs (Timing/Schedule)
App Strategy & Marketing (cont’d) How Will Your App Be Perceived (in real-life)? Answer The Following Questions BEFORE You Build the App: What Is It? This should be a 1-2 short sentence explanation – a 10 second or less elevator pitch. What is it – is NOT about you! The what should not include your company’s name, goal, mission or marketing slogans… Who Should Use It? Why Should They Use It? WIIFM – What’s In It For Them? How does it make their life easier, better… When Should They Use It? How Should They Use It? Why Should They Tell Someone Else About It?
App Strategy & Marketing (cont’d) Once You’ve Nailed Down the Message…What Are the Nuts & Bolts of Marketing the App? Website Feature the App Description/Announcement Prominently on Your Website with a Link to the iTunes App Store/Android Marketplace Email Newsletters/Print Mailings Inserts in unrelated mailings Invoices, Quarterly Statements, Lobbying Updates, etc Email Signatures & Voicemail Press Release & Traditional Media Outreach
Social Media For App Awareness Social Media Release & Online Outreach Industry AND Audience Bloggers Don’t target everyone & anyone – be strategic Offer exclusive content Release it strategically online BEFORE the traditional media gets it Rather than announcing the app is going to be on their blog in your social media outlets – LINK to their blog post about it… Idea: Know a blogger with a huge following among your key audience? • Let them try a pre-release of the app and write an honest review • Let them be the ONLY place people can download it for one week before it goes live in the App Store • Or give it away FREE on their site only for a limited time
Social Media For App Awareness (cont’d) Use a Platform Manager Like HootSuite Monitor Before, During, After Preload Your Messaging Frees your time to respond/converse authentically Use the statistics to analyze the effectiveness of your messaging Adjust if necessary! Coordinate Your Social Media Initiatives Make sure you know which hand is doing what Each platform should SUPPORT the others, not override or ignore Have a definitive day-by-day plan Which platform (and why there!) on what day(s) Customized messaging Based on the unique characteristics of each platform Determine which social media sites make the most sense You do not need to use ALL of your social media sites – be strategic
Social Media For App Awareness (cont’d)TALK (2-way engaged conversation) With Your Audience About The App ASK them about it: What do they like? What do they not like? What else could you add to it? Would they recommend it to a friend? LISTEN to what they are telling you and respond accordingly – highlight some great feedback in your posts. SAY THANK YOU! And mean it. Does your audience want a change? Make it and TELL them you did! Can’t change something? Tell them you HEARD them. Did you screw something up? SAY YOU MADE A MISTAKE… INVITE them to tell their friends – and make it easy for them… REQUEST that they “Rate” the app in the App Store or Marketplace
Productivity Apps That Rock! Want a Little More Free Time in Your Day? Check out these Awesome Apps Evernote – Your Brain…On Your Phone HomeRoutine – For the List Maker Junkies LucyPhone – Hate Waiting on Hold with Bog Companies? Readability – Make Mobile Web Browsing Easy to Read! Slice – Mail Order Manger Extraordinaire HoursTracker – When Every Minute is Billable Doodle – Scheduling Meetings Made Easy HootSuite – Manage Multiple Social Media Sites at One-Time
ResourcesGreat Articles To Share: Lifehack’s New Tools for the New Year: Money: http://bit.ly/SLY6vB Lifehack’s Getting Started with Mint: http://bit.ly/UvKmMV CreditSesame’s Top 10 Must-Have Finance Apps for 2012: http://bit.ly/Q6qricGreat Sites to Check Out: FinancialAidNews.com (and their podcast!) AppAdvice.com (specifically, their budgeting App Guide: http://bit.ly/VNljCI) SumZero.com - SumZero is the worlds largest community of hedge fund, mutual fund, and private equity professionals