“Mobile” is no longer an adjective. It is a strategy, an application, and a lifestyle. Yet, aside from being the tech industry’s buzzword of choice for the moment, it also holds the potential for incredible business value. Mobile strategies have been proven to directly affect the bottom line, whether through the use of tools such as Square’s credit card reader for sales on the go or through the direct sale of a mobile application.
However, is merely having a mobile strategy enough? It is not. It requires just as much forethought as any other business implementation. What are the businesses that have innovative mobile offerings doing right? What are the best tips for implementing an effective mobile strategy that will make your company money? Let’s find out.
A One Time $0.99 Download Is Never Enough
The most common price point for paid applications in almost every app store is $0.99. This one time fee may be well and good for quickie applications that take advantage of rapid development turnaround, but for those looking to make some serious money from an app, that may not be enough.
Max Schmidt of ProOnGo, a mobile QuickBooks tracking application, had this to say: “We believe there is zero money to be made selling your app upfront (i.e. $0.99 download). Therefore we have moved to a subscription model.” He also believes in keeping customers happy by being transparent and listening to their needs. “Encourage users to subscribe when they first launch the application. There are a lot of impulse buys out there and being upfront with the user about offering a paid service instead of using the 'freemium' model has always worked well for us.”
Make it Measurable and Mobile Specific
Mobile applications are often clones of existing services recreated on a mobile device for convenience sake. That is great, but the real value of mobile strategies arises through a mobile-specific implementation.
Punchh is one such application that harnesses mobile-specific strategies that translate to real value. Ann Dickerson, a representative of Punchh, states, “Unlike other loyalty programs (which are really discount programs), Punchh rewards loyal customers when the friends they refer visit a place of business. The technology tracks who is referred by customers and when they buy.”
The application is able to reward customers by actually sensing and notifying a business when a referral walks in the door. This type of strategy has the additional benefit of being highly measurable, which should be a prerequisite for any business endeavor.
Harness The Power Of Social Media
Social media AND mobile? Oh man, two buzzwords in one article. Yet, the value that social media brings to the mobile ecosystem cannot be ignored. From spreading the word about an app to disseminating information about your business, the heavy integration of social media into most mobile devices sets the groundwork for a potentially massive acquisition of customers, clients, or partners. The best part about social media? The service is usually free.
Ed Brohan of CheapCarInsurance.com believes that social media has been a significant contributor to his mobile success. “We found it was most efficient to let Facebook provide the mobile infrastructure. All we need to do is keep posting new material that is current and interesting on our Facebook page. We have been able to reach returning customers (viewers in our case) as well as new ones through Facebook's newsfeed.”
Given the rapid spread of mobile technology, the odds are that most businesses have some sort of strategy in place, but is it really working? By considering these tips, it is possible to strengthen your efforts.
Got any new ideas for mobile? I would love to hear about specific mobile strategies that have worked for you in the comments.