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There are several ways a business can market itself via mobile:

  • Website – Most businesses nowadays have a website to capture the online crowd
  • Ads – Many businesses (especially the big ones) take ads with Google Adsense or Yahoo!/Bing Ads. These are shown in participating websites or search engine results pages
  • Search – Search engine results pages (SERPs) turn up the most relevant web pages in their top results. Search Engine Marketing (or Optimization) can help websites rank up the SERPs.
  • Text Messaging (SMS) – This relies on the fact that almost all text messages are read, unlike email.
  • Apps – little programs one downloads to one’s cell phone. They can have many functions – games, maps, tax calculators, comics, messaging, etc.

The first three are actually being done by businesses via regular websites. Regular websites market new products and services all the time. Websites usually display whatever is new in the most prominent part of the site, the upper left corner. Their mobile optimised counterparts are just simplified versions of the regular site, are designed to load fast, and show up well in mobile phones’ limited screen area.

Ditto for display ads and search (search engine marketing or optimisation). They too work with mobile counterparts.

Text messaging is also a marketing option for businesses – these are usually offered in websites as an opt-in service so customers can be updated with the latest offers and promos

Mobile Apps Give Your Business a Boost

It’s through smartphones that the real marketing power of apps shines. While there are web ‘apps’ that function through a regular or mobile website, or even without a browser (Adobe Air apps for desktops, for example), they don’t enjoy the advantage of apps made for mobile devices.

The biggest benefit apps can give to a business is wider coverage through mobile ordering. With mobile ordering apps, a business can have more reach and customers have more convenience – browsing for products or services, selecting them, paying for them, and setting pickup locations and times – from their cell phones wherever they are (as long as there’s signal coverage). Modern smartphones’ GPS functionality can now help customers find your store’s branch nearest their location.

It’s not just ordering that’s enhanced through mobile apps, your business will also enjoy the ability to send the latest product and service updates, promos and coupons, through your mobile app. This way, those who are using your app will benefit from the information specifically targeted to them. If your app is also equipped with social media sharing functions, your customers will also be able to share their experience with their like-minded friends, gaining you potential customers that can turn into loyal patrons later on.

Reality Check

But these benefits will not turn a business into an overnight success if the business has poor customer service, products that can be had cheaper elsewhere, or poor customer experience overall. There is no shortcut to a great business. If you don’t have a great and unique selling proposition, no amount of mobile apps will improve your bottom line. Or they will, but only for a short time.

Remember, mobile apps are only an extension of your business. They are not a cure-all. If people have poor experience buying (or eating at your place if you own a restaurant) from you, they might just use your app to give your business a poor review – and share the experience with their friends.

Great products and service plus great app equals better customer experience, which means great value for you and your customers.

Source: Saavi Feeds

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