Not that long ago, mobile apps were reserved for large businesses and corporations, but that's changed rapidly over the past few years. Today, even the smallest of companies are able to serve their clients better and build stronger brand recognition by providing a mobile application. Not only are mobile apps more accessible to all companies, they are a great way to provide customers with a service that simply can't be achieved with a mobile-friendly website alone and see your brand enjoy a higher return on investment.
No matter which way you look at it, humans – even the introverts – are wired to be social creatures. Nobody wants to be left out when it comes to what is going on in the world, and the fact that mobile is a social concept simply can't be emphasised enough. Businesses today can push sales using mobile devices – and whilst creating functional and regularly updated social profiles is great, it is often simply not enough. Today, the bottom line is quite simple – in order for your business to grow and succeed, an app is often essential. Here are some of the main benefits of investing in app development for your business.
#1. Increase Visibility and Brand Awareness:
The average person spends a whopping five hours per day using their mobile devices, including both smartphones and tablets. And globally, there are over a billion smartphones alone. When you see these numbers, it becomes pretty clear as to how having a mobile app for your business can significantly boost brand awareness and visibility. Not only will you be able to send push notifications out straight through to customers' devices to inform them about updates, sales, promotions and offers that they may be interested in, but the simple fact that your app logo is there on their device to see all the time can boost brand awareness more than you realise.
#2. Offer App-Specific Features:
You probably already know the importance of having a responsive, mobile-friendly website for your business. However, whilst mobile-friendly sites can do a lot for your brand, there are several restrictions compared to having a mobile app developed for your business. For example, a mobile friendly website will not be able to offer features such as integrating with smartphone functions like the contact list, camera or photo app in the way that an application can. And when it comes to customer services, having an app that offers these additional features can often be the edge that your brand needs to stand out and grow. You can check out ten ways to build a successful app from the Appetiser blog here - https://appetiser.com.au/blog/10-steps-to-building-a-successful-app/, with more information about the various features that will help you app stand out from the crowd by offering a superb customer experience.
#3. Increased Direct Marketing:
Most of the time, people are going to be more likely to look at the push notifications that come through to their smartphones compared with checking and reading marketing emails. Yes, you might want to consider SMS marketing as an alternative, but this can often be considered as too invasive. Push notifications that have been allowed from apps that your customers have downloaded are often seen as a happy medium between SMS marketing and marketing emails, and they are usually small, easy to digest chunks of information that your recipient can read in seconds before deciding if they are interested or not. You can use these push notifications to keep customers informed regularly about the latest updates from your business, whether you're introducing a new product line, holding a massive sale, or running an exclusive promotion. And, geographical and customer habit tracking in your app can help you tailor the notification to different groups of customers to ensure that everybody is getting the information that is the most relevant to them and their needs.
#4. Increase Customer Engagement:
Customer engagement is more and more important for businesses these days. Customers today are no longer simply looking for brands that will offer them the best quality at the cheapest price -they want a brand that they can relate to and that understands them well. If your business is unreachable or clients find it difficult to engage with, then you run the risk of losing customers – and business. As a result, a mobile app can come in extremely handy when it comes to increasing this reach and encouraging your customers to engage with your brand. You can achieve this by including a helpdesk or webchat option within your application where customers can quickly get in touch with your brand and get answers to their questions or a solution for any issues that they may be experiencing. Replying to all communications personally and as quickly as possible makes for excellent customer engagement.
These are just some of the main benefits of investing in a mobile app for your business – if you have any more to add, we'd love to hear from you in the comments.
"Who are you meeting for lunch this week?"
Without fail, my former boss would ask me this question in every weekly status we had. And I dreaded the question. Because my answer was generally a stammering "Umm… No One." Occasionally I could remember what I actually had for lunch. And almost always it was sitting in my windowless cube eating a soggy sad sandwich.
I didn't understand why "who I had lunch with this week" was worthy of being a topic on our weekly status. After all, I was only 6 months into this new job. I was still figuring out how to pull data from Nielsen. I was still figuring out how to write an innovation brief. I was still trying to figure out where the bathrooms were in this maze of a building.
And despite knowing this question would come up in every weekly status, I was reluctant to change my behavior. I didn't see the value in the question. I didn't see the importance of it in my career. I didn't understand why I had to have lunch with anyone.
Because I hated the idea of having to network, to meet people, to put myself out there. Because networking was something slimy and strange and weird and scary. It made my stomach hurt, my throat go dry. And I could feel a faint headache coming on.
Even Oxford's definition of networking only reaffirmed my fears of what networking looked like: the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.
Because please don't ask me to walk into a room where I don't know anyone. And stand in the corner sipping a bad glass of Chardonnay. Please don't ask me to slide my business card out and not so subtly shove it in your face. And ask you to do something for me. Please don't ask me to network. Because I hate networking.
And I used to hate networking (okay, maybe hate is too strong.) I still really dislike the term. "Networking" seemed about getting something from someone. Or someone getting something from you. A favor, a job, a referral. "Networking" seemed very transactional. And someone shoving a business card at you (which happened to me recently at event) only solidified by feelings.
And over the years, I came to really understand that networking wasn't about "the action or process of interacting with others." It was about building authentic connections. It was about meeting people who were different than you. It was about expanding my community. And creating new communities. It was tapping into more and more communities I could belong to.
And as I slowly started to change my view on networking- I mean building authentic connections- I started to realize my communities were more inclusive than I thought. My best friends from middle school. Former bosses. College Alumni I met after we had graduated. Colleagues from past companies. Vendors and agency partners I had once worked with. Colleagues I had once managed. As my family expanded, my husband, my two sister-in laws and my brother in-law. A whole host of fabulous cousin-in-laws. My baby brother as his career skyrocketed. And fellow parents in my kids' school.
I still hate networking. And I love building connections. And helping to build connections and be a bridge for other people.
Now, when I go to a large event, I try to go with a friend. We have a drink at the bar and then part ways to try and make new friends. If we don't authentically connect with other people, and we have made the effort, we always have each other to back to.
Now, I try to meet one new person a week at my company or in my broader community, or reconnect with someone I miss seeing. (This doesn't always have to be in person, can be text, Zoom or Facetime.) And if you can't commit to doing that, that you should seriously relook at your schedule. I thank my former boss for that constant reminder.
Now, I joined Luminary, a women's collaboration hub in NYC, which has been life changing for me. I am also on the advisory board. It's all about women supporting and lifting each other up- to get more money, get that next big promotion, or start their own venture. It's a built-in community of unwavering support.
Now, I am working on expanding my community of moms. Not too long ago, I worked up the nerve to ask a fellow mom in my daughter's class if she wanted to get together. She thought I meant a playdate. I meant drinks. And after one late night out drinking, I have bonded with a whole new set of badass women.
And all of these communities. I am there for my communities. And they are all there for me. Referral for a job at my company. Coaching on how to survive a bad boss. Advice on how to ask for more money. Supporting each other as we care for aging parents. Candid feedback on why they didn't get that promotion. Commiserating over a cocktail on which working parent had the worst week ever.
So please don't ask me to network. Because I hate it. And well actually I don't have a business card to give you. I haven't printed one in four years.