Think mobile apps are only for big name brands, like McDonalds or Target? You may want to think again. In fact, more and more businesses – including SMBs – are beginning to jump on the mobile application bandwagon. Why? Because forward-thinking business leaders recognize that a mobile strategy is about more than just responsive web design. It’s about meeting your customers where they are and connecting with them in the way that they prefer – and today, the answer to that is mobile.
For those who are still on the fence about whether a dedicated mobile app is worth the investment, here are six benefits that may make that decision a lot easier.
Staying “Top of Mind”
The latest stats show consumers spend an average of two hours a day on their mobile devices, and 86 percent of that time is spent using applications. While the majority of that time is likely spent engaging other activities, like checking email, playing games and surfing social media, the mere presence of your business app can do wonders for keeping your brand on the minds of your target audience.
Building Brand Recognition
Raising brand awareness is among the top of the list of priorities for most marketing managers. A dedicated mobile application can help achieve this goal in two distinct ways. First, having an app is like having an ever-present ad on your audiences’ mobile devices. As such, it should be well-designed and branded. Second, mobile apps deliver what’s known as “effective frequency,” that is, the theory that constantly seeing (and hopefully using) your app will increase users’ likelihood of buying.
Direct Marketing Gold
Apps can serve many purposes, from providing pricing and contact information to accessing news and retrieving messages to searching, filling out forms and more. Another advantage of having your own mobile app is that it provides you exclusive access to push whatever kind of content you’d like directly to your target audience, including sales and special promotions. With push notifications, you can easily reach your customers and prospects whenever and wherever they happen to be.
These days, everyone is on the go. Being able to access the information needed at the click of a button is something your customers and prospects will appreciate, which is why a mobile app can help you deliver more convenience and value to your audience. As a result, you’ll enjoy greater customer loyalty, which means a steady flow of repeat business. Incorporating a formal loyalty program into your mobile app can further improve these results.
Improve Customer Engagement
Regardless of the particular product or service you provide, your audience will inevitably need to reach you at some point. Offering the option of sending an inquiry or support request via your app’s built-in messaging feature can dramatically improve the way you communicate with your customers. Similarly, the ability to book services, make a reservation or schedule appointments at the click of a button from anywhere makes it easier and more convenient for your customers and prospects to interact with your brand.
Beat the Competition
Do your competitors offer the convenience of a mobile app? Some may, but chances are many still don’t. That means that by taking the initiative now, you’ll be able to offer prospects something other local businesses can’t, which can do wonders for winning over new clients and leaving the competition in the dust.
When you lay all the cards on the table, it’s obvious that investing in a mobile app can be a wise and lucrative business decision. And since all trends indicate that mobile applications will become a standard component of every business plan in the not-so-distant future, the time to jump on the bandwagon is now.
What about you? Do you already have a mobile app? What advice would you give others who are planning or in the process of developing their own? Please share your thoughts, experiences and insight in the comments section below.