With half the UK population now owning an internet-connected smartphone and sales of mobile devices outselling desktop computers for the first time, UK businesses must start engaging effectively with customers on the move by harnessing the power of the app.
New research shows that 82 per cent of the time we use our mobile phones is spent browsing through the various apps we have downloaded.
It follows that business owners should be tapping into this resource and making the most of a communication channel which is becoming more and more important.
Of course, as with any new marketing platform, there is general scepticism about the added value of a mobile app for your marketing strategy. Can it can even be considered a ‘communication channel’ in the first place? Mobile data analytics company, Mobilewalla, estimate that between 80 and 90 per cent of apps are only used once after being downloaded, Deloitte reported that most branded apps are a flop, while findings from experience design firm, Foolproof, reveal almost half of mobile users stop dealing with the brand if they hate the app.
Rather than spelling doom for apps as a marketing tool, these figures show that failure to deliver simply results from not applying classic marketing thinking – What is the app for? What problem does it solve? How can you tell people about it? And how do you measure its success? Barclays bank’s ‘Waterslide Extreme’ may have been a clever tie-in with a TV campaign and notched up downloads of over 28 million, but does that make the brand itself more popular or trusted? Apart from some simple entertainment, it didn’t offer much else – and that may well have been the aim of the app.
Other brands have used apps as a fresh revenue stream, engaging with customers and producing an obvious ROI. Domino’s Pizza came out with an innovative app allowing customers to shake their phones to order
a pizza when they couldn’t decide which one to choose. Starbucks enables its clientele to pay for coffees and snacks via their mobile app, which is constantly upgraded to take notice of feedback from patrons. What these apps show is that apps by their nature do not have to be one-offs or one-dimensional; in fact, the interactive and immediate nature of apps coupled with their ability to use native smart phone features gives them the potential to be more multi-dimensional than any other tool in your marketing arsenal.
The key is to offer functionality which solves a problem; a practical way of making everyday life just that little bit easier. As the popularity of Whatsapp and Shazam have shown, this naturally fits with the two things that make up so much of our day: quick, covenient communication and an ability to instantly obtain information.
So how can a small business take advantage of the app as a tool to provide immediate information and enable convenient communication? And would such a thing not cost the earth? Possibly, if you have it built and designed from scratch. But since the advent of the gappt-powered app – a live, dynamic cloud-based mobile communication platform which allows you to create your own affordable customised branded app for a fraction of the cost of hiring an app developer and with little technological knowledge, having your own branded app is no longer a luxury. Moreover, gappt-powered apps are geared towards getting a healthy and discernable ROI.
This a real game-changer in the world of digital marketing in the same way as Dyson took the home-cleaning industry by storm with its bag-less hoover and Apple transformed communications by pioneering internet-connected smartphones to give us a mini computer in our pocket.
By investing in a gappt-powered app your business gets access to a powerful strategic marketing tool which can engage with existing clients and attract new ones to buy your services and products.
Here are a few of the reasons why a gappt-powered customised branded app is a legitimate marketing tool:
- Customers will have it permanently on their mobile device or desktop computer so there is no need for them to log in as you would with a website
- Appointment-based businesses can fill gaps by flagging them up on the app and the customer will see them in real time and be able to respond immediately with one click
- Special offers can be promoted directly to clients by way of a discreet notification avoiding any need for intrusive spamming emails
- Feedback and testimonials can be received via the app so customers can act as brand ambassadors
- Businesses can partner up with other relevant professionals by displaying their apps as well with the end result that all parties expand their potential customer base
- Customers can book appointments and gain an instant reply with no frustrating waits in phone queues or embarrassment when booking a sensitive form of treatment
Businesses using gappt-powered apps have recorded monthly ROI of up to 900% as more appointments have been filled and recommendations have lowered acquisition costs.
So, it is clear that this new breed of branded communication app can be an effective marketing device and it is particularly effective in businesses which develop strong customer loyalty, such as hairdressers, beauty therapists, dentists and other healthcare professionals.
By ensuring customers download your app on their mobile phone or tablet computer, you will be able to reach them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and maintain a continuous two-way conversation which meets all of your marketing needs and grows your business.