If you are reading this on a smartphone or consider your smartphone or tablet to be your “first screen of choice”, then you will appreciate the extent to which smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. Over the past decade, there has been monumental growth in the technology and sale of smartphones all across the globe.
The congruence of smartphones with internet access has been remarkable and is aptly reflected by the fact that 80% of internet users own smartphones. Smartphone owners have shown a strong inclination towards the use of mobile applications for various products and services. Thus, it comes as no surprise that 68% of businesses
have made mobile applications an integral aspect of their marketing strategy.
We are presenting you with a list of the five top ways to include mobile applications at the heart of your marketing strategy in order to ensure a successful venture into this vast, upcoming and extremely crucial front for digital marketing.
1. An ideal application
Be it android
, designing an application for your business is relatively easy, which is proven by the sheer number of mobile applications available in the Play and iTunes stores. Distinguishing your application from the consumer’s becomes very important in this scenario and incorporating certain features into your application design can go a long way towards its success.
Your application represents your business to the users and it can be the impression that your application leaves on the users that often determines whether they will opt for your product or not. Your application must be robust across various operating system platforms and devices as 83% of mobile phone users
prefer a mobile application having a seamless performance across various devices.
The application must also focus on easy content access for the users in order to cater to a more engaging and informative interaction and this has been corroborated by the fact that 91% of users rate access to content as a very crucial parameter for the application’s acceptance.
Due to the plethora of mobile applications available in the Play and iTunes stores, it is imperative to ensure that your application achieves visibility by being in the list of top or popular applications. You should develop an application which actually serves the needs of the users and is not just an ordinary “also-ran” sort of an application.
Most of the popular mobile applications can be downloaded for free. One more way to achieve greater visibility for your mobile application is by including the appropriate keywords. These are the words which will ensure that your app gets displayed during maximum user searches without losing its relevance for the search parameters.
Businesses launching mobile applications should also ensure positive feedback from a variety of sources to serve as testimonials for their mobile applications, lending them greater authenticity. Promotional prizes could also be distributed for the initial users to achieve faster word of mouth publicity.
While well-designed, robust and visible mobile applications will get users to try them out; they will not guarantee user retention and expansion. In order to achieve this, constant periodic changes and updates for these mobile applications are essential. One of the strategies could be to launch a beta version of your application, but the key is to get constant feedback from the users and then make periodic updates based on this feedback as it serves as an important indicator of your product’s perception.
Adding and replacing the features of your application over time is also a very fruitful exercise. Integrating features like GPS Maps, displaying your store location or features like Google’s 360o
-view, enables the user to view the content in a completely different light, ensures that the user stays interested in the application and keeps coming back to it. The changes can also be made by launching new product genres and integrating them with your mobile application.
4. Data collection
When users download mobile applications, they give their permission for these applications to access various features on their smartphones. The applications then collect data
from these phones in different ways and this collected data serves as fodder for big data.
, in layman’s terms, refers to the analytical software which has the capacity to store, classify, analyze and evaluate information on a very large scale. The collected data ends up providing information about the users such as their ages, genders, contact details, home and office addresses, dates of birth, shopping preferences and patterns, expenses and expense patterns and many other things.
The interpretation of this big data enables the businesses to predict their market strategy; keeping in mind the observed trends from the data and also helping them target a specific audience based on their products.
This data can also be used to launch geo-specific advertisements or even discount coupons based on the preferences and expenses of individual users. This customization serves as a personal interaction between the customer and the business and supports the well-known model of supply and demand.
5. Go Social
With almost every smartphone owner using one or more forms of social media, the sites serve as great platforms to make your brand visible. Sharing your mobile application on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest and integrating Quick Response (QR) Codes will lead to a greater increase in the reach of these applications and subsequently of your brand to the consumers.
Moreover, the combination of the big data analysis and the social networking connectivity, businesses can send highly-personalized emails regarding offers to their users about products tailor-made for them.
These mobile applications can serve as a platform for social networking, as most applications allow the users to create their own profile and to connect with other people sharing similar tastes and preferences. These groups can, again, be used for targeted advertisements by the brands as well. Brands can also collaborate with other brands to promote each other – great examples of this are Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts with Smucker’s Jelly or a Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup commercial featuring Kleenex tissues.
Mobile phone applications can be an integral part of a business’ marketing strategy by ensuring their ideal design, visibility, constant evolution, database collection and proper social networking. If used well, these applications could, without a doubt, be the marketing game changers.