Mobile Apps Marketing 101by ME LI SS A HI GB EE on JUNE 27, 2011One of the best ways to promote your business is with the use of a mobile app. By creating a mobileapp, you open up all sorts of opportunities, from branding to sales to simply connecting withcustomers and potential customers. And, with the decline of traditional marketing venues like printand television, mobile marketing is becoming one of the key ways you can reach your customerbase.Constant communication with your customerOne of the many boons to businesses that come about with mobile app marketing is that you havethe opportunity to communicate with your customer on a routine basis. Every time a customer turnson her phone and navigates to the page your app is on, she’s going to think of your business. Youcan’t get that kind of exposure in traditional marketing models.In fact, mobile app marketing may be the single marketing channel that lets your customers connectwith you without limits. Day or night, at home or traveling or at work, your app is there, waiting tobring customers to you.Two Mobile app marketing modelsThere are a number of different ways to reach customers with mobile apps. By looking at some ofthe big companies and how they’ve connected with their clients, you can see those models.There are two major approaches you can take to mobile app marketing: Branded apps. This type of app doesn’t necessarily tell the user about your company, or at least that’s not the primary function. The primary function of a branded app is to entertain or inform the user. A good example of this is the Audi A4 app. This app – the A4 Driving Challenge – lets you use the built-in accelerometer in the iPhone to create all sorts of driving situations. You can choose your course; pick a specific Audi model and more. In-app advertising. These apps are specifically designed to provide information about your business to users. Levis put out an ad for Dockers, for example, that lets the user shake the iPhone and watch a Dockers-wearing model break dance on the screen.
Which model you choose depends, to some degree, on the nature of your business. Both modelshave proven to be effective for certain businesses.Adding valueOne of the best things you can do for your business is to provide value to your customers via yourmobile app. For example, let’s suppose that you run a catering business. You might create a mobileapp that walks the user step-by-step through the process of creating a menu for their wedding.The value-add model isn’t a new one. This goes back to the idea of the “free sample.” The idea isthat, if your product is good enough, just a taste of what it can do will compel the customer to buy.Another aspect in which adding value via a mobile app increases your business is in the area ofauthority. By providing reliable, useful, accurate information to your customers, you help to establishyour business as the go-to business in your field.Making it easier to shopSome mobile apps can make it easier for customers to do business with you. For example, youmight have an app that will scan the bar codes of the products in your store and provide detailedinformation or reviews to your customers.Another approach in this category is the coupon app. A coupon app will deliver exclusive coupons toyour mobile app customers. The customer doesn’t have to do any clipping, and doesn’t have toworry about forgetting the coupon at home. They simply go to your store, open the app, and get thediscount.Quality is essentialAll of this doesn’t come easy, however. The fact is that there are more than 350,000 apps in theApple app store alone. Other app stores – such as those for Nokia and Android – are increasingdaily. You need something that will make your app stand out among all of the others, and a reasonfor users to download your app.That means having a quality mobile app. Of those 350,000 apps available for the iPhone, a greatmany are poorly-developed, difficult to use, have a poor interface, or just really don’t provide anyvalue or use to the customer.
Your app has to stand out if it’s going to be downloaded, and if it’s going to drive customers to yourbusiness. Make sure to have your app developed by a company that understands the marketplace,and that has a proven track record of success with mobile app marketing.