Should Your Small Business Have a Mobile App?

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Masterful marketing or miserable money hole? In truth, developing your own branded mobile app may be a little of both.

On the plus side, a simple, well-designed app can make it easy for customers to interact with your brand whenever the impulse strikes them. Apps can also help integrated marketers:

  • Elevate your (real and perceived) marketing sophistication
  • Boost engagement, loyalty and trust
  • Increase order frequency and dollar value

Conversely, app development can quickly devolve into a rambling, protracted and expensive proposition, especially if you’re winging it without a clear strategy or plan.

AllBusiness.com, among others, goes all in for small-business mobile apps, touting additional benefits it says help your firm leave rivals wallowing in the digital dust.

Direct Marketing Support

One of the greatest benefits of having a mobile app is the ability to put a trove of truly useful information right at your users’ fingertips, such as: pricing, promotions, account information,
newsfeeds, brand stories and more.

“Through push notifications, you’re getting even closer to a direct (marketing) interaction,” the article states, enabling you to “remind customers about your products and services whenever it makes sense.”

One related side note: 52% of people opt-in to receive push notifications when they download an app, plus, segmented push messages have more than double the open rate as push messages blasted to everyone.

Brand Building

Think of your mobile app as a blank billboard sign, AllBusiness suggests, one that you can fashion in any way you want, from stylish and hip to informative or utilitarian–even outrageous or shocking.

Just remember that there are two goals which can’t be compromised under any circumstances: effective branding alignment–apps must clearly integrate your branding elements, personality and voice–and useful simplicity.

Nothing will doom a newly downloaded app to the trash faster than irrelevant, company-centric content or a bloated complex interface.

There’s a lot more to it of course, including how to rank highly in the app stores. Big pharmacy brand Walgreens also did things with its app and integrated marketing that SMBs may find useful.

Bottom line: mobile marketing is here to stay. And even at $5,000 to $10,000 for a simple version, mobile apps may be the way for forward-thinking marketers to go. Though we’re not certain of its real-world utility, we offer kudos to one app-development company for creating this very efficient self-serve app-pricing tool.

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