Mobile Apps For Business – The Education Gap

Most People Are Familiar With Apps As Games, But What About Mobile Apps For Business?

Have you ever heard of Angry Birds?

I’m sure you have.  But, in case you haven’t, it’s a game that was developed as an app for mobile devices that, for a time, everyone had installed on their phones, iPads, and other devices, and was playing at what seemed to be every possible free moment.  Since the original version, several other versions have been released to keep the game “fresh”, and there’s also a full version that users can pay for – and millions have – which opens up more levels of difficulty.

My kids introduced it to me, and as silly as the game is, it’s HIGHLY addicting.  Every time you fail to clear the level, you think to yourself that you’ll get it the next time and go again….and again….and again, until 3 hours have passed.

Crazy.  But fun.

Beyond Angry Birds, there are apps for just about everything you can think of, with more being developed all the time.  But one area most people aren’t thinking about yet is mobile apps for business.

Yes, there are banking apps by Capital One, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America that they no doubt paid tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to get developed, but I’m talking about the small business, like Bob’s Pizza, the nail and hair salon, the auto repair shop, and the dentist or church….yes, church.

Truth is, a mobile app is a new way for customers to connect with small business with their mobile devices, and if done right, can make those customers feel special, a part of a ‘club’ if you will, that gives them special rights, priveleges, and discounts that people without the mobile app installed on their phone aren’t privy to.

The amount of versitility in mobile apps as a marketing vehicle is enormous for small businesses.  Being able to do things like have app-only specials, GPS validated coupons, interactive event calendars, and probably the most effective function, push notifications at a fraction of the cost of say print marketing presents a big shift in marketing-thinking.  If the owner of a pizza shop wants to introduce a new pizza, but isn’t sure if his customers will take to it, with an app, he could send out a push notification to his customer base, introduce the pizza, offer a limited-time, app-only coupon and then measure feedback with an in-app survey form, all electronically with less than 30 minutes setup time.  If the owner wanted to do the same introduction with print marketing, think about the expense and time commitment that would be needed.

An auto repair shop that is slow on a Tuesday could use a push notification for a ‘today only’ oil change and brake check special, the dentist office could send out reminders about scheduling cleaning and maybe have an in-app offer for those using it, and the church could have congregation members send in prayer requests visible to other app-users and use the events area to remind people about service times and other special goings-on.  The flexibility of a customized mobile app for business is really endless.

Right now, we’re in the wild, wild, west of mobile apps with everyone trying to “figure it out” – what are the benefits, costs, etc.  As time goes on, it will continue to evolve, become even more efficient and effective (like most technology does), and become more mainstream.  A similar comparison would be if you can remember when businesses wondered if they needed a website.  Well, now if they don’t have one, they basically don’t ‘exist’.  The same will be true of mobile apps in the very near future.  Consumers will expect a business to have a mobile app, and if they don’t, well, they will be missing a big sales opportunity.

To get a free, custom mobile app preview for your business, go here or fill out the form in the margin.  No one is giving away a chance at a totally FREE app, who knows, you may win.

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