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Mobile Benefits For Small Businesses

mobileapps1The opportunity to target your customers increases because of the continuous growth of the mobile trend. Mobile marketing provides much easier channels for customers to connect in a way that is even more targeted than typical online advertising. Mobile promotion enables you to reach clients when they are out and about, not stuck behind a laptop or PC at their home or workplace.

How Small Businesses Can Take Advantage of Mobile Benefits

As Main Street begins to regain its steam, small businesses alike have many opportunities to increase their digital marketing efforts without having to empty their pockets on an agency. As digital merges more closely with the in-store experience, business owners should begin to see the potential that lies in their consumer’s hands, and take advantage of what marketers have deemed the “SoLoMo” trend.

“Get Social, Think Mobile, Spend Local”

According to a study by Pew Internet & American Life Project, 74 percent of smartphone users utilize location-based apps and services such as foursquare and Yelp to find information on local restaurants and retail stores, and 18 percent of these users actually “check-in.”

I will preface by saying that not every small business can afford, nor should they need, a branded mobile app to boost their in-store experience. By signing up and claiming your business on foursquare, Yelp and Facebook, you will be able to communicate directly to your customers and provide them information such as store hours, check-in deals, product reviews, directions to your store and all that fun stuff. It also allows you to boost your customer service by responding to any customer complaint or concern.

The mobile benefits for small businesses have over large retailers or chain restaurants are their uniqueness, or their place in a niche market. Every small business has products or services that serve a specific target, and as social influence becomes a staple of digital marketing, your in-store experience is how you will get your current customers to become advocates, and how you will grow your consumer base on social media through ‘friends of friends.’

Empower Your Customers

The mobile benefits are a huge advocacy opportunity that should be built around your social media efforts.

Consumers these days want emotional connections with the brands and businesses they support; they want to feel empowered, and brag to their friends, usually through social channels, how they received 10 percent off because they are now the “Mayor.”

With small niche businesses, your consumers have a specific mindset; they’re looking for something to do and something to buy. Through mobile recommendations and reviews, they can see how your in-store experience stands up against your competition. For example, if they turned to Yelp and noticed numerous reviews on how bad your customer service was, they’d immediately search for other options before stepping foot in your store.

The Future of Mobile Payments

According to an article on AdAge, mobile payments will total around $1 trillion by 2014, up from $162 billion in 2010. The incentive for mobile payments lies in the dynamic opportunity to deliver targeted coupons and deals based individually on your customers purchase patterns and location.

You can view the original article here.

Mobile Benefits

Mobile devices have taken communication one stage further, allowing customers to check on their email, order takeout and also listen to music with the touch of a button. Business owners are now rapidly developing their business marketing strategies with mobile phone technology.

Why Business Should Have A Mobile App!

 

mobileapps4Because more and more people are using mobile devices to access the internet, mobile apps are a good way for your business to make life easier for your customers and increase brand awareness. Mobile Apps enable businesses to take advantage of almost unlimited resources of information and services by satisfying one highly specific need at a time.

Why a Mobile App?

You want one. Come on, you know it. Everyone talks about how their company’s app is reeling in customers, providing revenue and making business easier. So what are you waiting for, exactly?

Why the heck should your company consider a mobile app?

While some in the marketing field thought mobile apps would be dead within a year, they only seem to be thriving. There is an app for that, that and that. In fact, businesses that thought they could never create or make use of a mobile app in their industry are now finding success in the development of their customized apps.

Mobile apps can not only save a business, they can also inspire and invigorate a business in ways that were impossible before. It is now easier to find out who is accessing your content and improve how you relate to your customers and consumers overall.

What do you know about apps?

Apps aren’t just a platform for playing Angry Birds and Draw Something (who is still playing either, I wonder?) or for checking out your local sports scores and the upcoming weekend weather updates. Apps are utilized by a variety of businesses to help build the brand and to provide the information behind the products or services available.

A well-developed mobile app will provide its users with an improved experience on the go and will lead to brand recognition and better conversion rates. Industries that vary from industrial solutions (with live shipping info) to health care (appointment scheduling) and entertainment events (ticket apps make for less paper waste, after all) can benefit from the use of a mobile app.

Why use a QR code?

There are many benefits to utilizing a QR code. The scanning of a QR code can turn into revenue, as all scans turn into leads. QR codes can be used to obtain information, provide deals/coupons and can appear on anything from the side of a building (a great resource for apartment rentals/home sales), inside magazines as featured print ads, on the sides of buses and as an inventive way to store business card information. Having an app store presence is another smart way to keep your brand out in the forefront: visible and easily accessed.

Before you launch an app, consider your audience, your need for an app (what should it provide, how should it work?) and your budget. Some effective tools for customizing a unique mobile app include Mobile Roadie, AppMakr, MyAppBuilder and MobiCart.

There are specific considerations to keep in mind when developing a mobile app.

All phones operate differently, so testing across various manufacturers/models of phones and networks is vital. Creating an interactive mobile app that is easy to use is also key. It would be senseless to spend time and money on an app just to push it live and have it be frustrating or full of bugs. Scope out what your competition is doing and test a variety of functionalities to make your app the best available in your type of business.

Stay on trend and improve customer satisfaction with a mobile app that answers basic questions and makes purchasing a product or obtaining info fun and easy; utilize it as a major marketing tool for your company and watch your business enter the new age of media and marketing technology. After all, nobody wants to be left behind, and even school-aged children (yikes) are sporting smartphones these days. It’s time you caught up!

You can view the original article here.

Most business owners are very well aware that the mobile trend is in full swing. Mobile devices enable you to take payments, take part in video conferences, manage accounts and engage customers more effectively compared to old fashioned media ever could.

When Do You Need A Mobile Marketing Strategy!

Mobile Marketing

blondeonmobileMarketing your business by using mobile phones is as effective as having thousands of people within the same area wearing t-shirts promoting your business every single day. Technology is moving rapid and small businesses must move along with it through taking on the use of Mobile Marketing to popularize their brands as well as increase their customer base.

Last year, more than 50% of Google searches occurred on a smartphone or tablet. Mobile users are doing everything on their devices from streaming video and reading news to shopping, interacting over social media, and checking in to their favourite locations. You may not think you need a mobile marketing strategy, but if your business meets any of the following criteria it’s a good sign that you do:

5 signs you need a mobile marketing strategy

1. You have a physical store or office that your customers may want to visit.
Customers are constantly searching to fill their immediate needs right from their smartphones, and acting on the results in real time. Is your company easily found, and can your customers easily access the information they need on-the-go? If not, one of your more mobile-savvy competitors will probably get their business.

Ensure that your business is listed on local search sites such as Google Places, Bing Local, and Yelp. When users search for products and services on these sites, their mobile device uses their location information to let them know what businesses are nearby. If a customer is looking for your product while walking down your street, you don’t want to lose out on that sale because your business wasn’t listed.

It’s also important to ensure your website is mobile-optimized. Busy mobile consumers don’t have time to zoom in and scroll around on your full-sized site from the small screen on their smartphone. If they can’t quickly and easily find the information they’re looking for on your site, they’ll move on to the next search result. So, make sure that your site displays well by using responsive design techniques and ensure that your phone number, address, hours, and other information are easy to find.

2. Your customers like discounts, contests, and prizes.
Customers are always happy to save money, and a mobile campaign can provide the extra incentive needed to drive conversions or close a sale.

In-store, try running ads that enable your customers to access a coupon or discount using their mobile device. The extra savings may entice them to purchase that one extra item.

Out-of-store ads can encourage customers to enter a contest or access a prize that must be collected in-store, driving traffic to your storefront. These sorts of promotions may not provide enough incentive for consumers to leave the comfort of their homes, but can be enough to convince shoppers in or near your location to give you their business.

Running these promotions over mobile enables you to easily track the success of the promotion and capture customer data for analytics tracking as well as follow-up marketing efforts.

3 . Your customers are active on social media.
Social media users access their networks via mobile apps to post photos and comments, check into locations, and share information from their tablets and smartphones. You can tap into this audience with a mobile strategy that includes a mobile site, social monitoring, and social check-in.

We addressed the need for a mobile-optimized site above. Once your site is set up to display on mobile, you can promote your business over social networks using ads, contests, and content marketing. You can also enable social users to check into your store over Facebook or Foursquare to gain access to special promotions.

The key to an effective social strategy is to monitor it closely. Keep track of your social platforms using tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to view all your feeds at once, and set up alerts for Twitter and Facebook so that you know whenever someone has interacted with your profiles. You can also use tools like Social Mention to receive alerts for certain keywords and phrases, so that you can join into conversations that might be related to your business.

4. You offer online shopping.
49% of smartphone owners use their phone to make purchases online, and 55% of tablet users report shopping on their device. More than half of North American adults now own a smartphone, and that number is increasing, so if you have an ecommerce site, it’s critical that it be mobile optimized.

You can drive mobile traffic to your ecommerce site using mobile SEO tactics, social media, and mobile ads. Once shoppers are on your site, ensure that your login, information gathering, and checkout functions run smoothly and minimize the number of steps so that on-the-go mobile users can buy from you easily. If the process is difficult or takes too long to load, it could mean the difference between capturing a mobile sale and losing it to a competitor.

5. Your current marketing mix includes out-of-home promotions.
If your current ad campaigns include transit ads, posters, billboards, radio, events, trade shows, sponsorships, or any other media that target your customers while they are out and about, you need to integrate mobile into the mix.

Consumers are more likely to access your website immediately from their mobile device than they are to wait until they’re in front of their home computer. Campaign collateral should include QR codes, Near-Field-Communication (NFC) chips, or easy-to-type web addresses that lead to mobile-optimized landing pages. As mentioned above, you can offer place-specific benefits to encourage mobile users to interact with your brand depending on their activity or location.

If any of the above is true of your brand and you don’t currently have a mobile marketing plan, it’s likely you are missing out on mobile business. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to tap into the mobile market. First, make sure that your site is mobile optimized with responsive design. Then, incorporate mobile into your marketing mix according to the behavior of your customers and the nature of your business by adopting some of the strategies outlined above. Finally, ensure that you track your progress and refine your campaign over time using Google Analytics or a similar program. Mobile use is increasing and mobile consumers expect brands to keep up, so don’t ignore the signs – start building your mobile strategy today.

You can view the original article here

Mobile Marketing Is Essential For Your Business

Just about all internet surfers these days make use of their own personal smartphones mainly because of the amazing convenience. It is crucial for you to take part in this very effective way of marketing and advertising so you’re able to reach directly out to all of them. It’s what they want.

Mobile App Gap Should Be Closed!

small-business-appsBusiness owners must discover the value of utilizing mobile phones to reach potential customers and broaden their customer base. The key reason we have become so attached to our mobile phones is because we are able to accomplish tasks quickly. A mobile apps is definitely a great tool for marketing, so it is time for businesses to close the mobile “App Gap.”

Businesses Should Close Mobile App Gap

Businesses have made the leap into the brave new world of mobile devices and the use of personal mobile applications in the workplace, but they’re still not moving fast enough to develop and deploy the mobile app they need, a new study shows. They may think think they’re “locked and loaded” and ready for the next skirmish. But if they check their ammunition clips, they’ll find they’re still only shooting blanks when it comes filling the “app gap.”

It’s not for lack of belief in mobile, though. A study of 600 organizations found that 95 percent have employees whose use personal mobile devices for work and who trust that mobile technology will improve business outcomes and applications. The study was sponsored by Progressive Software, a global software systems provider.

In fact, 92 percent of organizations believe that adopting mobile app will not only give them a competitive edge, but believe that that failure to adopt such apps will put them at a competitive disadvantage.

Despite the proliferation of mobile devices, application use and beliefs that mobile technology will benefit business, only around a quarter (29 percent) of respondents have already begun a formal mobility project, though 42 percent plan to do so in the next year. In addition, only around half (51 percent) of organizations interact with their employees using mobile apps and even fewer (45 percent) use mobile apps to interact with customers

As organizations make plans to fill the mobile app gap, they face some roadblocks. According to the research, perceived risks to implementing formal mobility strategies include security (54 percent), the additional investment required (48 percent) and the need for ongoing support (47 percent).

In addition, more than half of companies (56 percent) are concerned that they lack the skills to develop an appropriate application and application interface across myriad mobile devices and platforms.

“There’s little doubt that providing employees with the ability to work across mobile devices can increase a business’ productivity and collaboration,” said John Goodson, senior vice president of products with Progress Software. “In an effort to increase operational efficiencies across the enterprise, IT organizations need to rely on trusted development environments that provide them with the security and control they’re used to with the ability to easily develop apps for multiple mobile operating systems.”

You can view the original article here.

The use of mobile devices is increasing at incredible rates and so is the use of mobile related technology such as mobile apps. There is no denying that businesses can benefit considerably from simply using mobile apps in their marketing endeavors.

Mobile Marketing For Small Businesses

mobile-marketingThe smartphone reached maturity in 2012 as late-adopters jumped on the band-wagon, pushing share to over 50% of the mobile market. With 125 million smartphones and 50 million tablets in the hands of the US population, mobile is no longer a trend but a fact of daily life. More than 1 in 3 minutes spent online is now via a mobile device, and 4 out of 5 of those smartphone minutes is spent on mobile apps rather than the web.

4 Ways Small Businesses Should Spend On Mobile Marketing

Although mobile devices aren’t necessarily only used on the go, a lot of mobile functions automatically give weight to the users’ geographic location. Because of this, smaller businesses and brick-and-mortar establishments have a lot to gain by embracing mobile as a venue in which to reach consumers. Following is a breakdown of the main ways businesses can begin to shift their marketing strategies to accommodate the transition to mobile.

1. Responsive Website

First things first: if your business’s website hasn’t had a redesign in the last couple of years, it’s long overdue. Responsive web design is popular among designers at the moment, but it’s more than a fad – it’s necessary to creating a seamless user experiences, no matter which device your website is being accessed on. Notice I assume all businesses have websites. Not having one is just not an option in the 21st century. Potential customers need to be able to find your company easily and quickly, and if you don’t have a website they’ll assume you don’t exist. Your website will be the hub of your integrated digital marketing strategy, while a responsive web design will make it accessible to the mobile consumer.

2. Ad Placement

Ad targeting platforms now allow marketers to segment audiences based on context rather than just discriminating by device. Google Adwords Enhanced Campaigns is the most recent example of this. By meshing its mobile and desktop advertising platforms together, Google has substantiated thought leaders’ suspicions that device agnosticism is the way of the future, and as such is helping to push along the transformation. The number one mobile application, Facebook, is also making inroads in the mobile advertising market by introducing geo-sensitive functions like Check-In Deals that can be leveraged for business.

3. Mobile App Development

If your business has the reach and resources to justify developing its own mobile application, some of the features that will ensure its success include push notifications, local context, social integration, and a simple e-commerce engine. There are plenty of ways to go about this, from hiring your own in-house web developer to making use of build-it-yourself platforms such as BiznessApps. However, if you don’t have the consumer base to warrant the creation of your own mobile app, it might be a better idea to leverage those already in existence for their reach.

4. Existing Mobile Apps

A wide array of apps already exist that are easy to get set up on and have been developed with business in mind. The most relevant factor in applications for mobile devices is geo-proximity, and as an extension of this, the two most popular ways for consumers to connect with businesses via mobile are by checking in and getting deals.
Checking-in to places based on a mobile device’s GPS location has become a well-established feature of mobile apps. While Facebook has recently picked it up, it’s not a new concept. Foursquare and Yelp are social recommendation sites that emphasize checking-in and sharing reviews about visited establishments. Groupon and LivingSocial are two other sites that share destinations, and also help businesses drive traffic by running promotions. These are great outlets for businesses to leverage because consumers accessing their mobile applications to search for reviews or deals are often already committed to buying.

The bottom line is every business should consider a mobile marketing

With more and more smartphones entering the market everyday, small businesses have no choice but to optimize their digital mobile marketing strategies to reach the consumer. As devices continue to converge in appearance and functionality, it would be wise for businesses to set appropriations now for dealing with this fundamental shift in the way consumers interact and make decisions. If mobile is the future, the future is now.

You can view the original article here.

Small Business Mobile Marketing

It’s important to fully understand the several forms of Mobile Marketing methods accessible to you so you can choose the ones your business could most benefit from

Mobile App Marketing Trends

Learning The Latest Mobile App Marketing Features 

Mobile marketing changes so rapidly that virtually every day brings new developments, but some trends are here to stay, including mobile apps. ABI Research has predicted the revenue they generate would exceed $30 billion by the end of 2012—nearly double that of 2011.

Need to Know: Four Mobile App Marketing Trends for 2013

To stay at the top of the game, you have to stay on top of such trends. So, without further ado, here are the four trends every mobile app marketer needs to be aware of in 2013 (and perhaps beyond).

1. Retargeting and Real-Time Bidding

Every successful mobile marketing campaign starts with successfully targeting those who will prove most beneficial to your company. Of course, inactive or dormant users add absolutely nothing to the campaign. Why reach out to someone who will likely never become a customer?

The recent introduction of Apple’s Advertising Identifier will help the development of more sophisticated real-time bidding and retargeting technology, including the ability to specifically target inactive users in an effort to reengage them—making other marketers everywhere jealous in the process.

In addition, advertisers will be able to use real-time bidding to further improve their media buy and, consequently, campaign ROI. With real-time bidding, every online ad impression can be evaluated and transacted instantly.

Real-time bidding is truly a win-win for the mobile advertising industry, giving buyers more access and transparency while simultaneously giving sellers a market-driven fair price.

2. The Prevalence of Tracking

Tracking was a highly debated topic in 2012, and this trend will continue in 2013. In 2012, we saw the deprecation of the UDID (unique device identifier) and the introduction of its replacement, the Apple Advertising Identifier. Why is tracking projected to trend upward in 2013? Because it’s effective.

The ability to target, create and track your mobile app marketing campaigns allows you to better understand your audience. The more you understand about the demographics and behavior patterns of the customers you are trying to reach as well as their sources, the more targeted and successful your campaign will be. Tracking is essential for effective targeting and campaign optimization.

The increasing demand by advertisers for thorough campaign tracking and reporting will spur further development in mobile marketing tracking and optimization technologies in 2013.

3. Big Data (It’s Everywhere)

Over the past few years, many industries have embraced the power of Big Data, and now the mobile marketing community is taking notice and recognizing its value.

Harnessing Big Data to optimize campaigns is the foundation of performance-oriented marketing. New technologies have now made way for in-depth campaign tracking, which allows mobile app marketing pros to professionalize and automate campaign optimization, thereby identifying the best way to allocate spending and maximize ROI.

The possibilities for discoveries using Big Data are endless. Thousands, millions, and billions of data points provide mobile app marketers with a wealth of knowledge on user behavior that wasn’t previously available.

4. New Mobile User Behavior

At Trademob, we’re predicting a change in user structure and behavior in 2013. As competition in the tablet and smartphone market increases, they will inevitably become more accessible and affordable to a larger cross-section of demographics, including less affluent and increasingly younger users.

With the introduction of new tablets like the iPad Mini, the number of tablet users is expected to see explosive growth, reaching nearly 70 million, up from 34 million in 2011 according to eMarketer. The trend of new user structures is extremely important to keep in mind when developing and marketing mobile business strategies in the New Year.

You can view the original article here.

Mobile App Marketing

Your business can take advantage of this massive trend because of the vast majority of your current and potential clients own smartphones. So it is vital that you understand fully the several different types of Mobile Marketing techniques available to you so you’re able to select the ones your organization could most benefit from

No Mobile App Strategy Yet? Forrester says your business is DOOMED!

mobile-apps21

There are so many more reasons why your company needs an app, but this should be enough to get your wheels turning. Your App’s functionality offers true value to your customers that have downloaded and installed it and it brands YOUR business.

No Mobile App Strategy, No Customers Warns

Mobile development has been top of mind for countless businesses worldwide, and many companies launching mobile apps have seen significant bottom-line growth. But what about those companies who haven’t gone mobile-first yet?
Forrester says they could be in trouble – and at risk of losing customers to other app-savvy competitors. According to Derek du Preez in ITWorld:

“Forrester has warned companies that if they don’t properly invest in a mobile app strategy, other companies with convenient and useful applications will attract customers to their services.

In a report entitled ‘The business impact of mobile engagement’, Forrester says businesses that can ‘create a mobile app that offers a fundamentally different capability or service by addressing people’s needs in their physical context [can] increase loyalty or pull customers away from their incumbent banks, retailers and media companies’.

New technologies made available by the latest smartphone applications are the cause of this stress on maintaining a company’s core customer base.

For example, Forrester points to mobile payments via applications. The payments market is becoming increasingly volatile as consumers start to use their phones as a digital wallet and seek to pay with their phones, which will challenge the incumbent suppliers.

Forrester says: ‘Mobile payment entrants from every direction will disrupt traditional payment models. Incumbents built on traditional models will be challenged to maintain their current fee structures.

‘Other core services ripe for mobile disruption include mapping (Apple), identity (Facebook), and telecommunications (Skype).’

The report also points to aggregators of content in media, travel and personal finance that challenge business’ customer relationships. This is because mobile applications provide the opportunity for aggregating services in a way that is more convenient for consumers than if they were working with individual companies.

Similarly, mobile applications create new service models that eliminate intermediaries. Forrester says: ‘If a producer and a consumer can immediately connect and do business together using a mobile app, then traditional intermediaries become irrelevant.’
Finally, because the likes of Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google are building customer databases of millions of consumer credit card details, this provides an opportunity to easily buy new services via mobile applications from a company that consumers may not have used before.

The report says: ‘Mobile will become a dominant channel as people pull out their phones to buy on a whim or order content in the living room, hotel room, or dorm room.;

Forrester argues that companies need to address these changes head on, but they need to invest carefully. IT departments need to focus on two key attributes of an application – is it convenient and does it provide a utility?”

The last point Forrester makes is key – do not simply create an app just to create one. The app needs to provide value to its users, and an ability to keep them engaged. This can be verified not only through the ideation process, but also through real world usability testing throughout different stages of development.

You can view the original article here

One of the best benefits of having your very own Mobile App Strategy for your business is the ability to more easily engage your customers.

The Power of Mobile Marketing for Small Business

 

blondeonmobileWhy Mobile Marketing is Made for Small Business

More consumers relying on smartphones and expecting to be recognized for loyalty, referrals and purchases, now is the time for small-business owners to put their mobile phone marketing strategies in place.

Mobile Marketing: The Next Big Thing

While we have yet to uncover the full potential of mobile marketing, consider these facts:

  • According to Nielsen, 49.6 percent of the U.S. adult population now own smartphones, up from 36 percent a year ago.
  • In 2011, the number of loyalty memberships in the US reached 2.1 billion.
  • Moodmedia says that 93 percent of people who use apps in stores are significantly more likely to have made a purchase than people who don’t use apps in stores.

One of the most important takeaways from this data is that the growing reliance on smartphones creates an enormous opportunity for businesses to engage customers.

View the original article here

Mobile Apps Used Extensively in Presidential Election

 

presidential-apps

Mobile Apps Provided Best Source Of Information

Mobile apps were used extensively in the 2012 Presidential Election race and hailed as being able to provide the best source for up-to-date information. Both Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney made full use of  mobile apps for poll watching and the Get Out and Vote initiative across the USA.

Certainly in the 2012 Presidential Race technology played a bigger part than ever before. All other technologies aside, mobile apps seem to have had the biggest impact. There were several in-depth election mobile apps that helped voters stay informed on-the-go, and even track poll results as they came in.

The following were the most popular Mobile Apps used in the 2012 US Presidential Election.

PollTracker: This mobile app enabled voters to get poll averages and forecasts as they came in.

Electioncaster: Electioncaster allowed users to read and browse election coverage live from a variety of sources.

New York Times Election 2012: Like electioncaster, this mobile app delivered political news, analysis and data from The Times and other sources direct to users’ smartphones as it happened .

Stitcher Election Center: This was a great audio app for listening to radio election coverage pulled together different election related podcasts and radio stations. 

The Mobile Apps used during the 2012 presidential election helped campaigns to better target and engage their audience and you can be sure they will be integral tools in all election campaigns in the future.