You hear about them everywhere: Mobile apps are the hottest thing, and it seems like every big company has created its own. Pizza Hut created one that lets its customers order pizza. BestBuy created one that alerts customers about the latest promotions.
With a well designed app, your business can achieve a significant ROI by turning one-time sales into long-term relationships. So how does a mobile app build customer relationships?
Having a mobile app for your business really can help build stronger relationships. Because apps are fun and interactive, customers often don’t even realize that they are being marketed to. Apps can mix marketing messages with games and other interactive content, and marketing messages sent via apps don’t get junked or sent to trash like email. Moreover, using an app to market provides immediacy: you can distribute your message to your customers, regardless of where they may be, and they can communicate with you as well.
The more difficult part is learning to take full advantage of the power of your app. Becoming proficient at this requires time and planning, but it can be a lot easier if you follow these rules:
- Your app should be user-centered, not marketing-centered. The app should provide real functionality for the benefit of its users first, and marketing functionality second. An example is adding an e-commerce functionality to your app that lets users purchase your products or services on the go.
- Your app should facilitate communication. Users should feel that the app provides as much opportunity for them to speak to you as it does for you to speak to them. And don’t forget the power of allowing your users to communicate with each other. Integrating other social media is a great way to do this.
- Provide a hook. Provide a reason for the user to download the app. In the example above, the real estate agency offered coupons to local retailers. Other things you can offer are prizes and discounts on your products/services.
- Make it viral. Make it easy for users to get their peers to download and use your app.
Remember, although there are costs associated with building an app for your business, with the right app, you can turn one sale into many sales and get a significant return on investment.