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The development of Apps (applications) that run on portable devices is today's fastest growing trend. In 2010 more than half of all internet access was being delivered to handheld devices. Why is this and will the trend continue? More than half a million apps are available for download. Apps allow customers or staff to solve a problem or do something on the move rather than on their computer. Sales reps submitting orders, staff checking inventory or customers ordering products are a few examples of portable information sharing.


Apps now serve up educational content, informative tips as well as entertainment and games. Many corporations are using apps to build brand awareness and a loyal customer base. Your company can too! But you must have an understanding of your audience and how you want to use them. The best way to incorporate apps is to create something useful to your customers -- something to bring them value. It must be functional; well designed, and usable. Apps can make it easy for customers to purchase your products and can drive sales.


Apps can also help your business processes. Apps are able to harness the power of smart phones as business tools. Making your employees more efficient and effective is easily done by accessing your business data. Apps can connect to your databases, check inventory, place orders, or be used as a replacement or supplement to training.


Mobile apps can:

  • Provide training or on the spot reference to needed information for your sales force or technicians
  • Provide customer service (e.g. banking or transaction apps)
  • Add value (e.g. apps that enhance customer relationships or experiences)
  • Make money (e.g. selling apps based on the business' intellectual property)
  • Streamline business (e.g. tools for frontline or remote workers to access customer databases, fill in time sheets, or manage inventory)

Mobile Marketing

Companies are finding mobile marketing to be a new and unique way to interact with customers. It requires repackaging of your content in new ways to work on a small screen, convey your message using a short, effective and easily understood design, and offering ease of navigation and action with a minimum barrier to the customer. Mobile marketing can be used to drive participation at events, or to showcase a particular product.

Mobile apps are best utilized in conjunction with social networking and other marketing and business tools.



Integrating Apps with your Business Process

One of the most exciting developments is the use of mobile apps integrated with your CRM or SCM.



Developing mobile apps

To date, larger businesses have been leading the way in developing apps. But this has changed as medium and even small businesses have realized the value of apps. Other apps don't create a direct financial profit, but instead build customer loyalty or provide customer service. Some examples are:

  • an app designed to instruct your customers in using your product and to promote other products
  • An app that allows customers to purchase product "on the go"
  • an app to help customers design the implementation of your product


Planning your approach and measuring the results

Planning your approach is critical to the success of any app. We can help you to develop an action plan on how to use your mobile app. You must consider:

  • What is it that you want to achieve?
  • Who is you audience?
  • What do you want your audience to do?
  • What do they need to do to make it happen?
  • How can you measure its success?

Tracking the value of your mobile apps is the last piece of the puzzle. You can track the value by monitoring the number of apps downloaded or the amount of mobile sales you make, or from web analytics.