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If you want your mobile app to be successful, you need to understand why mobile marketing apps fail.  Today I present two articles that hit two equally important areas of concern – app design and marketing.

First off – an article from Convince&Convert.com on the many reasons why apps fail:

Why Mobile Marketing Apps Fail

Why Mobile Marketing Apps FailSimon: I would say [apps fail] because the brand designed it for the brand’s use and not the customer’s use. So, they came at it from the perspective of, “What’s our end goal? What do we want to do? Okay, well what we want to do is, we want to get people looking in our catalogs. So, we’re going to build an app that is really just our catalog.” Okay, well I might look at that once, then I’m never going to use it again.

We’ve discussed before how to important it is for the app to deliver value for your customer.  Refer to my article Mobile App Design Inspiration on how to use mobile app statistical trends to guide your app development.  Forget about ‘getting them to do what you want them to do.’  Focus on ‘giving them what they want.’

Branding is important, but remember that good branding create a positive emotional response from your customers.  If your app is successful, your branding will be, too.

Next, an article from Gamezebo on ‘zombie apps’ – apps that sit in the app store and are never downloaded:

Even more interesting is that, according to the Adeven, almost 400,000 apps in the App Store — nearly two-thirds of them — are “zombie” apps.  Not zombie games, mind you.  A slightly more accurate name for these apps might have been “ghost” apps, as what makes these apps zombies is the fact that they exist totally unnoticed to the world.  These 400,000 apps have never been downloaded, do not show up to users when searched for, and are not ranked by Apple.

In case you didn’t catch it: “Two thirds of the apps in the Apple App Store have never been downloaded.”  When you see a statistic like this, you have to sit up and take notice.

What is going on here?  Are people simply developing apps and leaving it to Google and App Store searches to make the downloads happen?

You simply cannot take a passive approach to your app.  If you are going to go to the trouble of developing an app, you need to also develop an app marketing strategy.  My article on How To Market Your Mobile App will help you get started.

Poor design and lack of marketing are two major reasons why mobile marketing apps fail.  Get it right, and no one will call yours a ‘zombie app’ – unless, of course you are in the zombie business.

You can read the original articles on Convince&Convert.com and Gamezebo.

A Mobile Marketing Strategy That Makes Mobile Searches ObsoleteAs I was writing my first article for Business2Community I developed a mobile marketing strategy that makes mobile searches obsolete.  This is such an important strategy I wanted to take it a few steps further right here.

This is the first time I’ve curated on of my own articles posted on another website.  The purpose of that article, “5 Reasons Every Local Business Should Consider Mobile Apps,”  was to ’make the case’ for mobile apps to those already considering how mobile marketing might help their business. 

My original strategy was to simply pull together five existing statistics that make the mobile app decision a no-brainer.  I found four that I liked, and was stumped for the fifth.  But there was something missing from the statistics.  I needed something to draw things together - an overarching purpose.

That purposed dawned upon me as I looked at the various statistics that reveal a high percentage of mobile searches result in a sale.  These stats support what we already know – customers use smartphones because they want to buy stuff.

With that in mind, I realized the overarching purpose that had alluded me:

A Mobile Marketing Strategy That Makes Mobile Searches Obsolete

REASON 5 - Mobile apps ultimately eliminate the need for mobile searches (as far as you’re concerned)  More specifically, mobile apps allow you to get AHEAD of the need for mobile searches in your niche.  Why do people search for information?  Because they don’t have it already.  The mobile app allows you to give customers information WHEN or BEFORE they actually need it.  Simply put: if customers have a pizza restaurant’s app on their smartphones, and get a coupon for 50% off a large deluxe pizza via the app, who will they call when it’s time to order pizza? 

Simply put – you do not want customers to search for ‘buying’ information in your niche.  You want them to contact you without the need to search.  The mobile app solves that problem nicely. 

Time for pizza?  Pull up my mobile app for your pizza restaurant and order.  No need to search for a competitor, especially if you offer special deals on a regular basis via push message.

Mobile apps allow you to implement a mobile marketing strategy that makes mobile searches obsolete.  Do this, and you’ve won the game.

You can read my original article on Business2Community here

Mobile marketing best practices for QR codesQR codes are one of the most effective tools in a mobile marketer’s toolbelt.  But unless you understand the most important mobile marketing best practice for QR codes, you might alienate customers and threaten your mobile app investment.

First of all, consider there might be a gap in how you want customers to use QR codes, and how they actually WANT to use them.  First seek to understand why they would want to scan a QR code in the first place.

A recent article on eMarketer.com hits the point pretty hard:

The Most Important Mobile Marketing Best Practice for QR Codes

Nearly half of the US consumer respondents to a Chadwick Martin Bailey survey in October 2011 were strongly interested in discounts via scans.

Select Content They Would Be Interested in Scanning QR Codes for According to US Internet Users, Oct 2011 (% of respondents)

And yet marketers seem more focused on delivering brand messaging or on list-building. A September survey by the Association of Strategic Marketing of US marketers who used QR Codes found that two-thirds of the codes delivered product information, while less than one-quarter delivered discounts. Original article here.

Now you can see the nature of the gap: marketers want people to use QR codes to conduct research.  Customers want to use QR codes to obtain discounts.

Another article describes the impact of the gap from the same report:

Unfortunately, this means that once many people have scanned a barcode and have been disappointed, they don’t go back to doing it again, said the study. A statement made by the company that conducted the research said that until the time comes that marketers step away from using the codes to push content at consumers and give them what they want, instead, those smartphone users will continue to avoid giving it a second try.

So what it comes down to is: what is your ultimate goal for your mobile app?  To inform, or to facilitate sales?

If customers want to use QR codes to obtain discounts…GIVE THEM DISCOUNTS!  Don’t risk alienating them by providing dead ends and self-serving information.

The most important mobile marketing best practice for QR codes is simply this: give your customers what they want, and you will be rewarded.  Don’t, and they’ll punish you.

Mobile marketing best practices for engaging customersOne of the primary purposes of a mobile marketing app is customer engagement.  Any business owner who decides to go the mobile app route needs to learn the mobile marketing best practices for engaging customers.

We engage customers using social media like Twitter and Facebook, or with social bookmarking sites like Reddit and Digg.  When you assemble a list of Facebook fans or Twitter followers, it allows you to narrowly tailor your marketing message to those who have a special interest in what you do. 

But even Facebook and Twitter share some of the negative aspects of broadcasting to a non-targeted crowd.  That’s why push messaging – also called ‘narrowcasting’ – is so much more effective.

This article from Mashable emphasizes the advantages of narrowcasting over social media marketing:

Mobile Marketing Best Practices For Engaging Customers

Narrowcasting marks an emerging trend by which consumers are sharing content with smaller, more selective audiences. In contrast to broadcasting, narrowcasting is about tailoring information to better compel the recipients. It’s a competitive alternative, as evidenced by this infographic from Mogreet. While broadcasting gets a brand’s message out to a massive group of people, when it comes to who is actually reading and engaging with the content, the numbers are staggeringly low. For example, 84% of Facebook news feed stories aren’t viewed, 71% of tweets get ignored and 88% of emails go unopened. Meanwhile, 98% of text messages are opened, and therefore, companies that market through SMS/MMS have a far truer reach. Original story here.

Here is the excellent infographic from Mogreet:

 Mobile Marketing Best Practices for Engaging Customers Infographic

 

When planning your mobile marketing strategy, keep in mind that the ultimate goal should be marketing directly to those who have downloaded your mobile app.  The best way to do this is through push messaging.  Push messaging is the game-changing function of a mobile marketing app.

But you want your push messaging to be focused on the things that would engage your customers to act NOW.  For instance:

- A restaurant might announce a special happy hour after a home game victory

- A car dealer could notify app users of a new model that has just arrived, before anyone else found out

- A realtor could notify buyers of a new, especially hot listing before it’s advertised the general public

- A retailer might announce a special discount for app users only

Push messaging is the foundation of mobile marketing best practices for engaging customers.  No local business should be without it.

 

 

 

How to market your mobile appSo you’ve invested in a branded mobile marketing app for your small business.  You now need to understand how to market your mobile app, or else your mobile app investment won’t produce much of a payback. 

Your customers will be downloading your app from either the Google or iPhone app store.  So there might be some downloads generated from app store searches.  But that won’t be nearly enough.

The key is to give your app a massive rollout to kickstart downloads, and then over time allow the viral nature of your marketing strategies to take over.

This article from Marketing Land emphasizes the need to have a downloading strategy that evolves over time: Continue reading

Mobile apps for eventsMobile apps for events, especially annual or otherwise recurring events, can be game-changing. 

The nature of events planning and execution lend themselves to the real-time engagement and sharing strengths of mobile marketing apps.

When designing most mobile marketing apps for business you’re considering the needs of two parties: the customers and the business.  But mobile apps for events involve THREE parties:

- The event organizer

- The attendees

- The speakers and exhibitors

This adds a layer of complexity to the strategy and design considerations.  But regardless, the potential benefits for all three parties are huge.

This article from CVent reveals the industry is starting to take notice. Continue reading

From where do you get your mobile app design inspiration

Some can start from a blank slate, while others prefer building on things they’ve seen work well elsewhere. 

I’m going to suggest a better way to design your mobile app.

Mobile app design is pretty much like any other design – ‘form follows function.’  The trick is to let the functions drive the design. 

So if function drives design, what drives function?  In the case of mobile apps, the best driver for app function is customer behavior data.

I found a tremendous slideshow for a new report entitled “The Smartphone Consumer 2012.” The report reveals the results of an exhaustive customer survey conducted in early 2012 by Edison Research and Arbitron.  I’ve embedded the presentation below. Continue reading

Mobile Apps Marketing Case StudiesIn my article on Mobile Marketing Strategy, I talk about metrics – how to measure the success of your strategic objectives.  These four mobile apps marketing case studies show what happens when there are no tangible goals associated with rolling out an app.

When there are no such goals, the app lacks purpose.  If it lacks purpose, it probably won’t be used, or even downloaded.

When you develop an app, you need to test it.  There is no better test for an app than the ‘test drive.’  Download it and try to use it for the purposes it was created for – and rate the experience accordingly.  In this article from Internet Retailer, the author did just that.  She downloaded apps from four stores and then visited each to see if the app enhanced the shopping experience. Continue reading

Mobile marketing statistics that validate mobile marketing appsBefore taking the ‘mobile plunge,’ small businesses want to see the mobile marketing statistics that validate mobile marketing apps. .  In other words, how do we know the investment will pay dividends?

When a new technology is introduced, the ‘first adopters’ drive the initial wave, then the technology gets better and becomes more widespread.  At some point, the technology becomes good enough for everyone, and there is a huge surge of wide adoption.  This constitutes a ‘tipping point.’  Many companies won’t consider investing in new technology until we’ve reached that point – but by then, they might find themselves far behind the first adopters.

In this article from eMarketer.com, the mobile web and mobile app worlds are compared and contrasted and an inescapable conclusion is reached: we’ve passed the tipping point for mobile apps.  Continue reading

Mobile apps for restaurantsI recorded a live demonstration of a mobile app for a restaurant.  I chose this particular app because it has most of the functionality common to restaurant apps.

For the demonstration, I use a website called SeeYourAppLive.com that is used to preview apps live without the need for a smart phone.

Note the all the things the restaurant included to engage their customers:

- Special discounts

- Send pictures to a image gallery

- The ability to share the app with others

- Integration with Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare

And to top it off – we can generate a demo version of an app like this for ANY business, including yours, for no cost.  It’s like taking your app for a ‘test drive.’

 So without further ado: Continue reading

Mobile marketing best practices for QR codesThe QR code reader is one of the killer functions of mobile marketing apps.  But if misused, it can alienate your customers. If you implement mobile marketing best practices for QR codes, you can engage your customers and provide a quality experience.

It’s important that your QR codes don’t lead to dead ends.  They need to lead to something customers will find of value.  This article from Business2Community.com emphasizes this: Continue reading

Mobile marketing strategies to engage customers‘Push’ messaging is one of the most effective mobile marketing strategies to engage customers.  A ‘push’ message is simply a timely, strategic message pushed through the mobile app network to everyone who has downloaded your app. In the mobile app world, push messaging is the game changer.

For example, let’s say you’re a craft brewery with a branded mobile marketing app, and a few hundred customers have download your app.  It’s a fall Sunday and the local pro football team has just won a home game.  In order to capitalize on the good mood, you push a message to your customers: “We won! Come celebrate victory with us and enjoy the beer of the week – two for the price of one ’til closing!”  The message is highly strategic – it leverages a big, well publicized event that has put a lot of your customer base in a happy, celebratory mood.

A new article from Mashable.com emphasizes seven points to consider when developing your push messaging plans. Two points I found especially relevant.

Mobile Marketing Strategies to Engage Customers

4. Stay Consistent with Your Brand: When you talk to customers through push notifications, do it the same way that you do on the web or in email. Really smart brands — like Rue La La, TMZ and Airbnb — actually sit down and think about the best voice for their push notifications. You should, too.

In other words, think before you push.  And make your communications consistent across all your marketing platforms.

5. Deliver an Engaging Experience : The goal is for users to look forward to your push communications. Sometimes just a glance as the message crosses a user’s screen will deliver the value needed to build allegiance to your app. An example is being the first to hear about breaking news or sports scores. Once a user opens your message he or she should be transported into a rich media environment that is fresh, engaging, and entertaining.

This gets back to the story I started the article with – but says it in a much better way. When your customers look forward to your messages, it’s ‘game over.’  They are no longer customers – they are relationships.

In fact, consider that the ultimate goal of your mobile marketing strategies to engage customers – create relationships.  When you have a relationship with your customers, their first choice will always be to come to you.  Use push messaging as a strong, effective means to cultivate these relationships.

You can read the original article here.

Not long ago I wrote an article about mobile marketing apps for car dealers.  I wanted to return to the topic due to some interesting data I found.  It reminded me that the real focus should be on mobile marketing apps for car dealers’ CUSTOMERS.

(And it doesn’t hurt when the author says pretty much the same thing as I’ve been saying)

In a new article at Dealer Marketing Magazine, the author points out an interesting new development at Google:

Mobile Marketing Apps for Car Dealers

Google spent $12.5 billion last year to acquire Motorola Mobility, and this acquisition was so strategically important that Google spent more than 41 percent of its available cash for the deal. Now, why would Google bet almost half its cash reserves to make this deal? Is this acquisition telling you something about the future of the internet that will have a profound impact on your business if you ignore it? Note that, Google almost owns the internet today, but was willing to bet nearly half of its cash reserves to get into the mobile app design solutions playing field!

That tells us a lot about where the market is headed.  The article goes on to list the minimum functionality you’ll need in your own app – things like:

·         Push notification

·         GPS direction

·         QR coupons

·         Tap to call and email

·         Integration with your website

Music to my ears!  These are the features that add the most value for your customers.

This advice doesn’t just apply to mobile marketing apps for car dealers’ customers – they apply to EVERYONE’S customers.  When designing your mobile app, focus on customer needs.  The rest should take care of itself.

You can read the original article here.

 

Mobile marketing strategies for driving salesIncreased sales should be one of the overarching goals of launching your mobile marketing apps.  Mobile marketing strategies for driving sales will ensure your mobile app delivers value for both you and your customers.

Let’s say you decide to get a mobile marketing app for your business.  You want to design in the best features to make your app deliver value.  But how will you measure its effectiveness? 

When helping an organization develop a business strategy I teach that business goals and objectives need to be measured.  We call these measurements ‘metrics.’ Both leading and lagging metrics are important.  LEADING metrics tell us ‘did we do what we believed needed to be done.’  LAGGING metrics tell us ‘did what we do help us achieve our overall goals.’  For a mobile app, a great leading metric is ‘number of downloads.’  But the best lagging metric is ‘increased sales.’  So you design your app with both the leading and lagging metrics in mind.

This is the common mistake businesses make whey they decide to simply replicate their websites in their mobile marketing apps. There seems to be a gap between what marketers think customers use mobile apps for, and what customers actually do in practice.   This article from Mobile Marketing Watch summarizes the gap thus:

Mobile Marketing Strategies For Driving Sales

The biggest surprise in the research is the response to this question: What Path-to-Purchase features do you enable?  The most common answer given by the 500 chief marketers surveyed is Research Products. 73% of the time the marketers surveyed said they enable the ability to research most commonly. Most companies do not allow mobile users to buy. They do not allow (or encourage) a click-to-call purchase. Nor do they offer click-to-call customer service. (Appropriately, the title for this section of the Chief Marketer Report is ‘Everything but the Sale.’)  This data tells me one thing: the features mobile marketers are providing are not aligning with what mobile users are most frequently doing on a mobile device.  This is fairly stunning. We know that mobile users want immediacy. We know that mobile users generally don’t conduct a mobile search (for example) until they have previously researched a product or service fairly extensively or it is an impulse search for something they want to buy right now. In neither case are mobile users interested in intensive research. And yet, 73% of marketers allow extensive research on their products and provide no way to buy, call or do much of anything else.  Original article here.

In short: marketers want to market, but buyers want to buy.  Marketers want to enable research.  Buyers…want to buy!  So companies design their apps to facilitate research, and buyers can’t buy.  There’s your gap.

So the main element of your mobile marketing strategies for driving sales: give customers the ability to buy stuff directly from the app.  This can be accomplished in a few ways:

1. Make sure your app has a ‘shopping cart’ feature or something thereabouts.

2. Provide QR codes in your print ads that connect to special deals. Customers scan them with your app, and buy with a push of an ‘add to cart’ button.

3. Make sure your phone number is prominently displayed so customers can call and place an order directly.

I recently found a few articles focused on the question of mobile marketing apps vs mobile websites.  They are based on this interesting infographic from MDG Advertising:

Mobile Marketing Apps vs Mobile Websites

Should You Build a Mobile App or Mobile Website? [infographic by MDG Advertising]

Infographic by MDG Advertising

The infographic highlights some of the major strengths of mobile apps – namely, the huge migration of customers from desktop to mobile, and the ability to reach out to and engage customers.

But to me, the infographic represents a false choice based on a couple of assumptions the advertiser makes:

1. Mobile apps are expensive.  This is simply not the case for a number of reasons.  Also custom mobile apps can be quite expensive, the app framework I and others use is modular,  reasonably priced, and leverages content that already exists. 

2. Mobile apps are standalone. Mobile apps can and should in fact integrate the most useful functionality from the website, and extended it with additional functionality.

3. You have to make a choice.  Why not optimize certain content for mobile and then integrate it with your app?  For instance, use your mobile web content for the stuff that changes on a regular basis, so you don’t have to edit the app itself.  Then develop the app to display this content, ensuring the user experience is always fresh.

Plus the article fails to mention that mobile marketing apps can do things that desktops just can’t do – like geolocating, QR code scanning, in-store discounting and couponing, etc.

When you take away the ‘too expensive’ assumption, the choice becomes a lot more clear.  You should certainly optimize some of your web content for mobile viewing, and then leverage this to make your mobile app that much more useful.

The moral of the story: don’t get caught up in the mobile marketing apps vs mobile websites dilemma – do both!

Mobile marketing app development requires an initial investment.  But that can be largely reduced if you leverage your mobile marketing apps through partnering.

As I was researching yesterday’s article on mobile marketing apps for pizza, I stumbled upon some great information that wasn’t exactly pertinent to my point.  I decided it deserved its own article.  So again, from the same Forbes.com article describing how Domino’s is using mobile apps:

Leverage Your Mobile Marketing Apps Through Partnering

Leverage mobile marketing apps by partneringDomino’s is in the process of migrating to a pure digital environment, and has been smart in its supporting tactics – beyond just designing winning apps. In February, it celebrated the launch of its new Android app by offering free Android smartphones to customers signing up for new, two-year contracts.

Domino’s has entered into a partnership with a mobile phone carrier to offer a special deal.  This benefits both Domino’s and the carrier.

So why not do it yourself?  Find a partner or two who would benefit by getting access to the people downloading your app.  Let them advertise in exchange for a one-time or monthly access fee.

I’m exploring the possibilities of doing this on a much larger level by developing mobile marketing apps for malls and events.  We’ve got a few ‘Main Street’ themed malls in my area.  Imagine an app branded for the mall, with a special home page for each business and the ability for any of them to push messages to mall customers.  Every retailer in the mall is a potential partner.

If you leverage your mobile marketing apps through partnering, you can not only cut the initial app development costs.  You can encourage more customers to download your apps.  You can offer more deals and spark more social interaction.  When it comes time to take the plunge into mobile marketing apps, consider who you could partner with to add customer value.

Mobile marketing apps for pizzaMany types of local business can benefit from custom, branded apps.  Here’s a great example: mobile marketing apps for pizza restaurants.

Restaurants can offer their customers extreme value through mobile apps.  Ordering, discounts, GPS directions, one-touch calling, coupons – customers want to use apps for this kind of stuff.  And pizza places are a special category of restaurants – Americans will order pizza up to several times a month.

This article from Forbes.com shows how a Domino’s Pizza is leveraging the vast power of mobile marketing apps to improve customer experience.

Mobile Marketing Apps For Pizza

Believe it or not, Domino’s Pizza is setting some serious standards, with mobile specifically and digital as a whole. It’s all part and parcel of the gutsy reinvention that started when they asked their worst critics what they hated about Domino’s Pizza, and totally changed their product in response. Over the last five years, technology been a driver of its marketing and a key enabler of the pizza company’s ability to provide a standout ordering experience. Its iPhone app has a pizza slot machine feature for those who can’t decide what to order – shake the phone and the app chooses for you. Its Pizza Hero app/game for the iPad lets you either play now or order. You can track your order’s progress, use GPS tracking to find a store close to you, and, of course, find coupons and offers. In the UK, Domino’s has launched a mobile app that interacts with billboards. As AdWeek reported: “Point your phone at outdoor posters and billboards and the app creates an augmented reality experience, allowing you to order a pizza, visit the Facebook page, and more.”  Original story here.

Domino’s is a large corporation that can afford to pour tens of thousands into app development.  A feature like the ‘pizza slot machine’ is custom functionality that, though expensive, helps Domino’s sustain their brand identity.

But the app mainly provides the most common customer benefits – coupons, store location. This is the kind of functionality that any pizza restaurant could use.

Also consider that customers might buy pizza several times a month – the Domino’s app won’t sit idle for long.  This is key for customers retaining the app on the phone.  A local pizza place that invested in a custom app could easily build massive customer loyalty through frequent communications and exclusive discounts.

Think about what you can adapt from mobile marketing apps for pizza to your needs.

Mobile Marketing Strategies For Generating LeadsLead generation is the primary goal of all direct marketing campaigns.  As we move to a mobile device environment, small and local businesses must develop powerful mobile marketing strategies for generating leads.  A mobile marketing app is the best solution to implement your mobile lead capture strategy.

This article from Business2Community.com emphasizes six areas in making your mobile strategies effective.  I will highlight two of them and connect them with the concept of mobile apps as lead generating machines.

Mobile Marketing Strategies For Generating Leads

2. Success starts with building your mobile opt-in consumer database – so make this a top priority. Mobile is unlike many other elements of the marketing mix – while it is powerful, it requires consumers to opt-in (a.k.a. providing their express consent) to unleash the power of mobile. While response rates for mobile marketing can be 10 times higher – or more – than email or direct marketing, its impact will be felt only if you build a large opt-in consumer database. Allocate the appropriate level of resources to build your database – it will provide a powerful ROI.

This tip hits the crux of the issue in the third sentence.  Response rate is the prime strength of mobile marketing via branded apps.  It blows away email and social marketing by an order of magnitude.  In terms of mobile marketing apps, a person who downloads your app is a lead (or, better yet, a customer).  The connection you should make with this article : the more people who download your app, the more effective your marketing strategy will be.  So your lead generation strategy is actually a mobile marketing app downloading strategy!

3. Leverage the power of mobile marketing across the full consumer lifecycle. Seek ways to apply Mobile Marketing across the entire consumer lifecycle – including acquiring, engaging, growing and nurturing customer relationships. Be sure to integrate mobile with your existing traditional approaches to optimize the customer experience. Original article here

This point emphasizes that your mobile marketing strategy is not ‘stand-alone.’  It tiers off your overall marketing strategy, which should address print, web, email, and social media.  And it should interconnect with all of them. 

For instance, let’s take social media.  A mobile marketing app is a powerful social marketing tool.  Designed properly it promotes powerful two-way interaction and rewards customers for taking action.  It’s part of a long-term strategy to manage customers and transform them into clients and relationships.

A mobile marketing app can also be a powerful means of collecting email addresses.  Offer customers something of value to download in exchange for opting in with name and email address.  Email marketing companies like Aweber often allow people to opt in via Facebook as well, further integrating mobile, email, and social media.

The mobile marketing app is the ideal means to  implement mobile marketing strategies for generating leads.  It is a responsive, effective means of creating and cultivating customer relationships.  Don’t you think it’s time to get one of your own?

 

Mobile marketing apps for car dealers

Local businesses have a dire need to connect with local customers in a social fashion.  That need can be easily bridged via mobile apps.  For example, consider how such a need can be met by mobile marketing apps for car dealers.

This article from Dealer Marketing Magazine indicates the car dealer industry understands the need for a solid mobile marketing strategy, but hasn’t quite made the jump to custom mobile apps for individual dealers.  The author makes a solid case that customers will find car dealers via mobile search.  But the data from which he pulled didn’t consider the alternative of custom mobile marketing apps.

Mobile Marketing Apps for Car Dealers

Look anywhere in our industry and you’ll find people discussing mobile—how to market to the mobile consumer, how to display inventory on a mobile device, how to deliver coupons on a smart phone—the list goes on. Mobile activity is heating up for good reason; a 2011 Google Smartphone user study shows mobile searches will make up 25 percent of all searches in the world this year. Perhaps an even more jaw-dropping statistic is that 60 percent of users conduct mobile searches before buying a product. Half of those who see a mobile ad take some action, with 35 percent visiting a website, and 49 percent actually making a purchase.  With all of this interest around mobile, we spoke to some of the dealer-members in our network and industry experts we rely on for answers about the difference between building search and PPC campaigns for mobile users versus desktop users. What we found is that there is a wide divide between the two. Everything, from the intent to the call-to-action, is different. Mobile users search differently than desktop users; so, search campaigns need to be built differently from the ground up. Original story here.

This is an example of using old methods to respond to a transformational change in the market.  When we use PCs to get information, we use web browsers and search engines.  When we use mobile devices, we use mobile apps.  So why not leverage the mobile app to eliminate the need for search?

Think of what Fred’s Quality Automobiles could accomplish if a few thousand people downloaded a mobile app branded just for Fred’s Quality Automobiles.

     – Fred could send his customers pictures of new cars and trucks the day they arrive on the lot, and then again the day they are sold.

     – Fred could offer special deals available only to people who’ve downloaded his app.

     – Fred could announce special workshops to help his customers learn to properly maintain their vehicles.

     – Fred could encourage customers to upload photos of their new cars purchased from Fred, so everyone else could see what they’re missing.

The sky is the limit when you actively market to and engage customers via a mobile app. 

Later on, I’m going to do a mockup for Fred to show him what mobile marketing apps for car dealers would look like and how it would function.  Prepare to be amazed.