The Internet, connectivity and smartphones have revolutionized the way consumers and people shop, browse and socialize. Marketing in today’s online centric world requires businesses to ever expand their marketing plans and target niche markets through specific campaigns targeted at those demographics. No longer can a business rely on traditional media to reach every demographic is the marketing world has fragmented into 1 million different pieces.
Gone are the days where businesses could simply think about an online marketing campaign with an engaging website marketed through Google Adwords. The fragmentation of online marketing caused by large social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Google+, not to mention a host of other social platforms that are catering to the younger generation such as Vimeo and Vine, means you need a different marketing approach. All of this was made possible through the rise of the iPhone and the development of relatively cheap constant Internet access through Wi-Fi and cell phone data contracts. Businesses will need to market digitally to niche markets in order to reach the fragmented market. This will require in some cases that your business actually develop Apps targeted to niche markets that cannot be accessed elsewhere.
Unless you live in the Antarctic, it is hard not to understand the power that smart phone Apps have had on the masses. From a simple game where birds are flung to destroy pigs, a major entertainment App Company was born, Rovio. Other apps such as the Domino’s Pizza app proves their worth to individual businesses. Their app drove over $2 million in business through their app online sales, in just three months. The app, simple to use, allows you to order a pizza, track it’s delivery online, and view of their entire menu. Apps can be large and complex computer applications or simple utility apps that people come to use on their phones. Simple kitchen timers, flashlights to dieting journals and shopping apps have transformed the way people use their mobile devices. Mobile Apps have transcended mobile websites almost 2 to 1 in ratio of usage as people prefer to use apps on their devices instead of browsing the Internet.
Whether or not you personally use mobile apps, the point you should consider for your business is that worldwide app downloads will reach over 20 billion this year, with revenue projected to reach over $35 billion. Being able to cash in on this market is a simple as developing a small application that can engage a portion of your customer base offering value and usage on a daily basis. Develop an application that gives your customers something not available on your website or elsewhere such as a small utility for free, access to live inventory counts or engaging social uses. Ensure to develop the app targeted to users of a specific device with proper market focus. An app can be used in a number of ways such as to drive traffic to a brick-and-mortar store, increase customer loyalty, promote sales, coupons or deals, and differentiate your company from your competition.
With 65% of the world’s population still not connected to the Internet, the potential for growth is significant. Developing an app may take more time, money and effort but it is eventual payoffs are also greatly increased as it has wide ranging effects on brand loyalty, increased revenue, market penetration, customer feedback, and reduced costs through automation. These are all things one must consider when wondering “Should my Business have an App?”.