Is it time for the Application of Mobile?

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[dropcap]A[/dropcap] lot of growing small business and emerging enterprise companies make mobile apps just for the sake of having an app. No true direction or strategy are backing up this massive undertaking. The decision needs to be made up front on whether this app is an extension of the existing brand or will it be its own independent product. What absolutely can not happen is; someone says we need an app that does this; so a firm is hired to built it and that’s all there is to it. This logic inevitably leads to major struggles when it comes to marketing and growing usership of said app. A great app has a marketing and growth strategy before one line of code is ever written.

Michael Hardy, Founder of Inspired Blue Solutions puts it simple and plain;  “If the app is an extension of the business, then the marketing is relative to the success or buzz of the actual business. [While] marketing an app as an [independent] business can be a challenge. However, whether positive or negative, you have to be consistent in marketing and always self-evaluating of the app.” Initially, it was more acceptable to just market the app itself using the same traditional marketing techniques. That is no longer true because you aren’t actually trying to sell audiences on the app itself anymore. Instead, you are selling them on the experience your app provides. And, more importantly, how that experience is uniquely different and superior to any other experience they’ve previously had on mobile. This is not a new concept, by any means. Today’s consumers look for the simplest experiences offered by brands in fact, 86% of consumers are more likely to purchase when they are not overwhelmed with confusing information according to a study from the Harvard Business Review. Keep that in mind when you are writing your app’s in-store description. Market how the app will simplify users lives, not every little thing the app can do.

How should your brand best implement a mobile app?

Also remember the key to marketing mobile apps is to advertise where the mobile users already are. In other words, you fight mobile with mobile. The strategy of marketing the experience rather than the app is front and center here. The practice will cause customer experience to become a front-running issue of the business model. Don’t market your app—that’s simply is not enough anymore. You have to focus on the experiences that are only possible with your product. “The positive part is that if your app can serve the right niche market and your unique sales proposition is on point, it is easier to target and market your apps. It’s then more about content, the right ads, frequency, etc. to foster engagement. The ‘challenge’ is fighting the noise of the other apps out there, especially if your product is too similar to other apps. You can definitely get drowned out or lost in the shuffle, even with consistent marketing.” indicates Hardy.

Standing out amongst the clutter will lead to finding your loyal users; these users are more valuable than gold. Loyal users are the ones that are going to turn that download into revenue and a positive ROI and actually use the app and its features. If you aren’t acquiring loyal users, there may be a major problem with the design and functionality of your app. The loyal users you foster, at the end of the day, are going to determine the success and future of your business mobile application.

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Marketing Collateral Made Simple and Plain

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[dropcap]M[/dropcap]arketing collateral is a vital and integral component of a brand’s marketing strategy. What is marketing collateral? It is content. Every piece of print and digital media used to support a company’s primary advertising message. The collateral often aims to communicate important information via various channels about a company’s products or services. Online engagement and traffic have given rise to new forms of digital media enabling marketing collateral to assume formats beyond the traditional marketers wildest dreams.

Questions to ask before reading further:

  • How is your collateral to be used? For example, is it consumer or business collateral?
  • What is the message you want to deliver?
  • What is the most effective media format to deliver that message?

According to Forrester, the average consumer engages with 11.4 pieces of content prior to making a purchase.

Collateral Damage

Who is The Collateral For

Great collateral or content gets the attention of your targets and quickly explain the benefits of your offerings. The biggest guiding light for a brands collateral is knowing who it is for and the basic difference between the most common content. Business-to-consumer or B2C end-user marketing collateral is commonly used after a company has made initial customer contact through advertising, cold calling, or other means. Effective consumer-oriented collateral has an emotional appeal that communicates a unique and richly-rewarding user experience gained from buying the product or service. Business-to-business collateral or B2B collateral typically has a rational appeal. It provides persuasive nut-and-bolts information about how your company’s products or services, as well as brief snaps of advertising and promotions.

Solving The Problem

These days marketing strategy, as well as collateral, has to find its balance. It is just as much about the brand as it is about the audience. We are here to help solve a problem for the audience. Given that, we need to think about our collateral material differently. The messaging focuses off of ourselves the brand and onto the consumer or client. Take stock of what’s needed, and of the quality of the collateral that you have in place. If you don’t already have a comprehensive marketing strategy to help you to build brand equity and generate leads, you may need to backup and start there. Thought and planning are required before you start creating collateral with an intended purpose. Make the process easier and resolve the basic issues relating to target audience, collateral purpose, and delivery format.

Collateral Damage

Make it Easy

Marketing collateral frequently runs parallel with and tries to communicate a brand’s primary message. Whether your audience is consumer or B2B, keep it short and sweet. Make it easy for preoccupied eyeballs to scan your material. Effective design and flawless copy can drive home the most effective reasons why your targeted audience should consider doing business with you. It usually supports or echoes the end-user benefit found in your company’s main advertising message, and should include a compelling call-to-action. Assume your collateral is fighting for attention with audiences that may be constantly preoccupied with other matters. Use complementary, aesthetically pleasing visuals to draw in your audience. Make whitespace your friend when it comes to design; use it abundantly. Effective collateral material also includes action steps more often than not.

Focus on Your Audience

Remember, keep the focus on your audience. If it is a consumer audience, communicate great user experience — product or service benefit — and a call-to-action. If it is a B2B audience, communicate the benefit using a rational appeal and a call-to-action. marketing collateral combines clearly presented information with compelling graphics to engage and successfully communicate your message. Doing the footwork to build the foundational pieces of a solid brand is well worth the time. Below are some marketing collateral ideas and places to get you started.

  • Brand Guide
  • Business Cards
  • Website
  • Social Media Platforms
  • Blog
  • Email Templates
  • Newsletters

Once you have your marketing collateral materials in order, you can focus more effectively on a successful marketing plan. Review your marketing strategy and the tools you need to help tell your best brand story.

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