The Highly Targeted Mobile App


Mobile apps have mass appeal. Regardless of business type or size, a mobile app can also have an incredible ROI. The key word there of course, is can. While the marketing aficionados and business book gurus out there preach a certain lesson all the time, it is difficult to apply it to your own business when, quite frankly, you want all the customers you can get.

As it stands, the gurus and aficionados are right. The best way generate a positive ROI for your app is focus.

Now, there is obviously some built-in targeting for your app. The individuals most likely to download a mobile app are tech savvy. They are likely on Twitter and Facebook. They play Angry Birds and have a positive attitude towards businesses that go mobile. You can definitely cater to that audience.

But even then, the focus is not tight enough. Putting aside the fact that all of the above behaviors can be just as easily applied to both a hip college kid and his parents, the fact is that the “tech nerd” is dying. We are all tech nerds now to some extent, and so the term is increasingly ineffective as a differentiator.

So how do you focus your mobile app? Get ready for a frustrating answer.

It really depends on you.

Truthfully, mobile apps provide a framework for you to pursue your existing targeted marketing efforts (and you do have a target consumer, right?). Certain modules work well for certain businesses, but the effectiveness of those modules relies on the power of the business itself to identify and speak to a certain audience.

Identify your target audience, demonstrate the fact that you know what they want and are able to give it to them, and your mobile app will let you cut through the clutter of a customer’s inbox and Facebook feed. Mobile apps are highly flexible. They are as remarkable as you.

Role of Apps in Customer Acquisition and Retention


Consumers will download more than 66 billion mobile applications per year by 2016, more than double the 31 billion apps installed in 2011, according to a new forecast issued by Juniper Research.

The Juniper report contends mobile apps will play an increasingly crucial role in brands’ customer acquisition and retention strategies. “Consumers are now demanding 24/7 access to services–retail, financial, information, entertainment–wherever they are,” said report author Windsor Holden. “As a result, brands that wish to remain competitive have turned to apps as part of a integrated multichannel distribution system: they have become a critical mechanism to increase engagement and reduce churn.”

This notion expressed by the Juniper analyst is as relevant for local and small to medium size businesses as it is for large national and global brands. This thesis is at the heart of the Apptive EasyApp platform and is why we developed it for digital service providers. Enabling clients with mobile apps is strategically important to them remaining competitive, but currently it’s expensive and complex to get them there. We’ve developed an easy, fun way to achieve this goal while still providing the flexibility to create a totally custom app.

For clients, getting an app these days is equal parts a defensive and offensive consideration. It’s defensive in so much as, if a potential customer is doing a search on mobile and a competitor has an optimized mobile presence that is easy to interact with and you don’t – who do you think the customer is going to choose to do business with? They will choose the path of least resistance. An app can be an offensive play because smartphones offer such unique and powerful functionality that apps can take advantage of to create real time business opportunities, increase customer loyalty and so much more.

Ok, that’s all I’ve got for now – check back soon!

The Post-PC Era


There have been a flood of stats in recent weeks about the dominant role smartphones and apps are beginning to take in the tech industry at large and in our daily lives. I decided to compile a few of the most interesting and entertaining ones here for your reading pleasure, with links to the original source articles. As a small business or organization the main take away is that smartphones and tablets are proliferating and having an optimized presence on this new leading edge channel becomes more important with each passing month. Most relevant of all is that these devices offer powerful new ways to connect with customers while increasing loyalty, accessibility and revenue. Now on to the stats…

Why Your Business Needs an App


Obviously we’re passionate about mobile apps here at Apptive and believe it is absolutely essential for businesses to utilize these nifty little gems to gain an optimized presence on smartphones. I thought it would be useful to share a few data points and thoughts on this topic to help give a clearer picture of just why a native mobile app is so important for your business.

The first area I’d like to touch on is the rapid shift away from run of the mill feature phones to smartphones. Anecdotally you’ve surely noticed this trend, everyone you know and everyone you see seems to have an iPhone or an Android device. Well, studies backup what you’re seeing. Nielsen recently released a study with some very interesting but hardly surprisingly results. They found that:

  • 62% of 25-34 year olds reported owning a smartphone.
  • 18-24 year olds had the next highest smartphone usage rate at 54%.
  • 35-44 year olds come in right behind that with 53% reporting smartphone ownership.

Other interesting data points we’ve taken notice of lately include…

According to Google:

  • mobile searches have exploded by 4x since 2010, to over 100 billion mobile searches in 2011. (people are looking for a lot of information directly from their smartphones)
  • 30% of all restaurant searches are done on the mobile phone.
  • 70% of smartphone users use their device while shopping in-store
  • 53% of searchers purchase as a result of a smartphone search
  • 95% of smartphone users have searched for local information
  • By 2013, more people will use their mobile phones than PCs to get online

A study was just released by eMarketer looking at time spent by people each day with the major media types. They found that people are now spending more time on their smartphones each day (1hr 5mins) than they are with newspapers or magazines.

The last stat I’ll mention today comes from a study Flurry Analytics conducted over the Summer. They found people are now spending more time in Native Apps vs. the mobile Web (81 minutes per day in apps vs. 74 minutes per day for mobile Web).

Looking at these numbers from a purely defensive standpoint you may think having a mobile app is becoming table stakes for doing business – that is, a de facto necessary thing for doing business in today’s on-the-go, hyper-connected marketplace. I would agree with you there for sure. But I also see great opportunity looking at it from a slightly different viewpoint. And that is, these devices offer truly unique functionality you can use to proactively grow your business. A specific example is utilizing push notifications to drive loyal customers into your business with specials and deals. Ok, so those were just a few of the things on my mind this last week, I hope they were helpful and maybe even a bit interesting! Contact us here at Apptive today to learn more about how an app can optimize you for mobile and help grow your business.

Marketing Your Business with an iPhone App


I was thinking today about best practices around marketing your business with an iPhone app. Some of the things I came up with are obvious and a few may not be, but I think all are useful to consider while you’re getting up and going with an app.

First thing is first: getting customers to download your app. In order to make your app a useful marketing channel you first have to get your customers to download it. It won’t magically appear on their iPhones – you have to let them know about it! Following are some ideas to drive downloads of your app.

  • Promote your app in your place of business: place flyers, stickers, table tents, etc. around your place of business that say: “Download Our iPhone App at the App Store”.
  • Promote your app in the same places you promote your website and Facebook pages right now – on your menus, at the bottom of your receipts, in-store signage, etc.
  • In fact, promote your app ON your website and Facebook page. You can also place a direct link to your app in these places to make it very easy for people to find. To get that link, simply right click on the app icon on your app’s homepage in iTunes and select copy.
  • Promote your app on your email distribution list and your blog if you you’ve got them. Place a direct link to your app in those places too.
  • Give your customers incentive to download your app. Offer some sort of special, coupon or other deal that only people with the app can get.
  • Come up with creative deals like: Get three friends to download our app, bring them in and get this deal.

Now to some best practices about using your app to reach those customers who have downloaded it:

  • Keep the info in your app up to date: If your info is out of date, customers will not view your app as a live channel.
  • Don’t send push offers out too often or else customers will tune them out and maybe view your messages as spam.
  • When sending push offers, make sure they are of significant value to your customers. If an offer or message isn’t perceived to be valuable, customers may tune our your next push.
  • Create offers specific to app users and incent them to share these deals with friends.

So, those are the thoughts I came up with today – I hope they are helpful to you. Check back often because this is a topic we’ll continue to develop and explore.