The last post in my short series about mobile marketing is about creating your own app.
Why? Because apps are going to be the future of mobile. Not every business has a mobile app which makes it all the more important for your company to create an app now. Not every business owner has an idea, so having a mobile app will really set you apart from your competitors. You must create an app that is both useful for your customers and enjoyable.
When I first started thinking about developing apps, I looked at my phone and the different apps I have installed. I have the typical social media apps, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. but I also have apps specific to companies. One of my favorite mobile apps is Starbucks. Starbucks is such a strong brand and their app enhances their brand loyalty. The Starbucks app has many features that make it both useful and helpful. The most important feature and the one I use the most is the ability to load gift cards and use the app to pay for your purchase. Instead of trying to find that gift card your Grandma gave you last Christmas, you can pull it up on your phone. The app also lets you earn stars and depending on the number of stars you have earned, you will receive different benefits and promotions. The App also delivers relevant content to the user. Through messages it allows you to download a free app or song every week. It also has a menu of all the possible drinks and food and also provides a profile of all their coffees. Finally, it has a store locator that can help you find the nearest Starbucks anywhere. The app is packed full of useful features and interesting content that keeps me engaged with Starbucks and their brand.
So what are some key take-a-ways for beginning to build an app? First, not everyone has one, so it will still set you apart. Second, mobile websites are great and important, but apps are much quicker and more efficient. Think about the steps you have to take to get to a company’s website on your phone. Have to turn on the internet, have to search or enter the address, then have to find what you are looking for on the company’s page. And often it takes you awhile to type in the address and wait for it to load. An app is much more efficient and only takes one tap to start. Third, apps foster customer loyalty and add another dimension to the customer experience. Apps invite your customer to engage in new ways whether through playing a game like the Chipotle app or paying for a drink like the Starbucks app. Fourth, app development is cheap and simple and allows you to create easy to use, beautifully designed apps. Developing an app unique to your business is a great investment for the future of mobile marketing. Do you have any suggestions for creating your app? Or have any examples of great apps? As always, please leave a comment!