The term “mobile strategy” instantly brings to mind the jetset traveler, suitcase in hand, ready to embark upon some great adventure armed with a repertoire of tablets, smartphones and laptops. So, when you discuss a “local mobile” strategy, it almost sounds like an oxymoron. However, most interactions with small business comes from local customers, and your greatest chance of long term success revolves around creating a tribe of loyal local customers.
But how does this ultimately affect your mobile strategy, and how should you structure your app interactions to engage with a local audience? The answer can be broken down into two primary goals, consistency and value. In the same way that businesses want consistent revenue from customer, so too do customers want consistent experiences with a business (note that consistent does not mean boring, it means being consistently remarkable).
The good news is that many small businesses already meet that criteria in their personal interactions with customers. You likely see some familiar faces who frequently visit your business, and have built a rapport with them. The trick is to build the same kind of rapport through your mobile strategy. This sounds easy, but there are a few common areas where small businesses tend to fail.
For one thing, mobile strategies for small businesses are a relatively new development. Only recently have apps and other mobile engagement tools become affordable and functional enough for them. In one sense this is excellent, because companies who act quickly will have a serious advantage over competitors while the strategy is not yet commonplace. The flip side of this, though, is that many small businesses have only been exposed to mobile messaging from large corporate and tech-focused apps. Because of that, businesses sometimes feel that their app messaging and interactions needs to be somewhat detached in order to lend validity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Customers will always gravitate towards technology that reflects a businesses personal, human elements.
Small businesses also encounter difficulty determining the types of deals and advertisements to run. Often they turn to simple, low-cost deals that they believe will draw in more customers due to the immediate value and ease of redemption. However, while someone may very well redeem a deal for a “free soft drink with any purchase” if they are already in the restaurant, such basic offerings are not powerful enough to pull customers in. Offering real value, even if the redemption process is more involved (“Bring in a friend and get two free desserts,” etc.) will intrigue local customers and give them a reason to check out your business.
There are many other local mobile strategies we could discuss, but we’d like to hear from you! How do you generate interest locally, how can you/would you translate that to a mobile strategy? Sound off in the comments!