Busting the App Myth

What comes to mind when you hear the word “app”? Do you think of a game? Something you can’t live without? Or simply a cool gadget on your phone?

Small business owners often shut down when they hear the word “app” being pitched. They, understandably, think there is no money or time to invest in an app ⎼ especially if they don’t even have any other online presence set up yet. Small businesses might see apps as just a gimmicky addition to their marketing portfolio.

But here’s the thing: an app might actually be the one thing that can help the business significantly grow. Why? Because an app is not just a mobile application; an app is a complete mobile marketing solution. If it is executed correctly, a small business will see a significant increase in revenue and customer engagement.

Ultimately, this tool won’t be an extra expense, it will save the business a lot of money. How? An app, or mobile solution, can rethink a small business’ social presence, local presence and mobile presence, as well as turn its best customers into marketers.

 

Busting The Myth

We have labeled it “ReThink”. More specifically, the Rethink Strategy redefines the way you think about customer experience, customer loyalty, customer advocacy and company ranking. This strategy will also allow small business owners to understand the benefits of a mobile solution.

 

Rethink Experience:



The first step of the Rethink Strategy is to analyze which experiences would be better facilitated through a mobile solution. In other words, how can the customer experience be improved at a particular business?
Traditionally, companies have emphasized “touchpoints”, referring to the critical moments when customers interact with a brand during their purchasing process. However, a shift is taking place as successful companies focus on the customer journey in its entirety. According to Harvard Business Review’s research, “organizations able to skillfully manage the entire experience reap enormous rewards: enhanced customer satisfaction, reduced churn, increased revenue, and greater employee satisfaction”.

A mobile solution allows any business to move away from mere touch points and start addressing this customer journey as a whole. For instance, a local restaurant might implement mobile food ordering. Customers now have the option to place an order with the tap of a button through an app. This translates into not having to wait in line, not having to make a phone call, and not needing to go through the hassle of paying at the establishment. As a result, the patrons are provided with a more pleasurable and convenient experience at the restaurant. So, instead of merely improving the “sales touchpoint” at the cash register, the small business is able to improve the entire encounter starting with the purchase process.

 

Rethink Loyalty:

An improved customer experience, then, builds loyalty. The better the experience at the establishment, the more likely people are to return. And the way a small business deals with loyalty can also be rethought with a mobile solution.

Every business, whether a mom-and-pop shop or a global company, relies on loyal customers for success. Loyal customers account for 20% of a company’s customers. While that might not seem impressive at first glance, that 20% drives 80% of a business’s total revenue and 72% of total visits to the establishment. This data clearly shows that it is more profitable for businesses to go after customer retention than customer acquisition – however, many do the exact opposite. In fact, it costs 500% more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones.

The best way to drive customer retention? A loyalty program. What’s more, 87% of shoppers say they want loyalty programs and 68% of millennials say they won’t be loyal to a brand if it doesn’t have a good loyalty program. Besides the high demand for it, loyalty programs can be extremely beneficial to the company’s bottom line. Loyalty programs increase overall revenue by 5-10%, with loyal members spending more money and buying more frequently than non-members. A mobile solution, then, allows a small business to focus on what is most important and beneficial to their growth.

For example, a salon can implement a mobile stamp card, rewarding customers with a free haircut when it’s complete. For the customer, this means no longer losing a physical punch card and carrying around 20 different rewards cards. Customers now feel that every purchase they make amounts to something bigger. This, again, contributes to a positive customer journey. As a result, rethinking (or implementing) the mobile loyalty strategy can increase repeat business.

Rethink Advocacy:



Now that a loyal following has been built, a small business should empower their customers to spread the word. Through an app, customers can easily be prompted to share their opinion on social media, produce online reviews or send a referral.

We all know that people love to talk about things they love (and hate). So if they are a loyal and happy customer, it is important to make it as easy as possible for them to share their thoughts with others. Think of traditional word-of-mouth, as a happy customers tells two people about their experience, and those two people each tell another two people. According to Entrepreneur, word-of-mouth is triggered when a customer experiences something far beyond what was expected. A mobile solution can help in doing so – by rethinking experience (as was mentioned above). In addition, Nielsen states that 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising – 10 times more effective to be exact. Word-Of-Mouth Marketing, then, is the most powerful form of advertising a small business can have, as each happy customer can steer dozens of new ones their way.

A gym might send out a push notification to its members, for example, asking them to rate the establishment. Members who frequently go to that gym will be encouraged to leave a positive review or share on social media. Now potential customers will come across these reviews when researching gyms online, making a strong case for the small business.

Rethink Reach:

This stronger online presence will lead to the final stage of the ReThink Strategy, namely Reach. More reviews allow you to rank higher on directory websites like Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor and Zomato, making sure local businesses are found.

Reviews have a direct impact on local search rankings, so small business should make acquiring them a priority. Businesses who want to appear in Google’s local 3-pack need to have a high volume of good reviews. A better online ranking will increase exposure and bring in new customers who, in turn, can become advocates for the business.

Imagine you are in the mood for an acai bowl (we love those here in Corona), but you don’t know where to get one. You’ll most likely conduct an online search, perhaps by typing in “acai bowl in San Diego”. What will pop up are Google’s 3 local listings, showing the most popular places to get this snack. Below that will probably be the yelp list for “best acai bowls in Corona”. You will most likely eat an acai bowl at one of these places, not going beyond those search results. A mobile solution will help a small business rank for these desirable positions by acquiring an abundance of reviews.

Rethink Results:

This brings the Rethink Strategy full circle, with new customers coming through (online) word-of-mouth marketing and embarking on the ReThink journey themselves. Not only does each stage of the mobile model improve the experience, it ultimately grows the entire business:
• A 1-star increase on Yelp has been proven to translate to a 5-9% increase in revenue.
• A 5% increase in customer retention will increase profitability by 25%.
• Adopting a mobile solution can save a business an average cost of $5,000  annually.


Conclusion:

So, we definitely busted that myth! An app is not just an app. An app can be a mobile solution that redefines the entire customer journey and brings about significant growth. A mobile solution has real tangible results, often making them an integral part of the business.

The data suggests small businesses are building apps to increase sales (55%), improve customer experience (50%) and to become competitors in a specific market (50%). According to recent studies, nearly half of small businesses are expected to adopt a mobile app by 2017. The features that an app can have (e.g. mobile food ordering, reservations, loyalty programs) are more than add-ons, each of these are benefits of a complete mobile solution that can help a company save or make money. It’s time for local owners to welcome a mobile solution into their small business.

Your Turn: How has an app transformed your small businesses or the local businesses in your area? Share your experiences in the comments!

5 Thanksgiving Text Marketing Tips

brilliant-mobile-messagingWe all know that November is a time in America where we take a look around us and realize what we should be thankful for in our busy and hectic lives.

We sit down with our family members and loved ones for an amazing feast and realize that we should appreciate the things we take for granted on a daily basis.

What we don’t, however, realize, is the marketing opportunities that come along with a holiday such as this.

For a Marketer, Thanksgiving is not just a time to be thankful, but it is also a time to help their customers plan for the holiday shopping season that is right around the corner.

With age old traditions such as Black Friday and the more modern concept of
Cyber Monday, there are so many creative ways marketers can get their message across to multiple audiences.

Here are five Text Marketing tips for Thanksgiving that any mobile marketer can use in order to yield more successful results in the long run.

1. Send out a thank you message.

Sending out a simplistic and generalized thank you message to your clients during this time of year won’t go by unnoticed.

This tactic will show your customers that you care about them as individuals rather than just look at them as dollar signs. Best part is, not much effort is needed to send out a thank you text message.

2. Set up a promotion.

If you would like to take your thank you message one step further, give your clients a bonus by initiating a promotion in their honor.

Thank them for being loyal customers by giving them a great deal. This will show them that you have their best interest at heart and will drive business up at the same time.

3. Get festive with visuals.

November is definitely a time to take advantage of certain icons and images such as fall leaves, pumpkins, and gourds. Everywhere you go you will feel the Thanksgiving festivities.

Whether it be in display windows while shopping or even on company websites, you will find Thanksgiving images all over the place. So why not use this technique in your Text marketing?

Create graphics using these themes and send them out to your clients using MMS (Multimedia messages). A picture is worth a thousand words, so take advantage and send one out to spread the Thanksgiving cheer! You can send a graphic image, a audio or video clip, right in their text stream!

4. Give back to your customers and the community.

A great way to interact with your customers in an effective way during Thanksgiving is to run a campaign in which charity is involved.

Send out an Text Message to your customers saying that with every purchase from whatever day you decide until Thanksgiving day you will donate $1 to a local charity of your choosing.

Not only will this give your business great publicity, but it will also help boost sales during the holiday season.

5. Be unique with whatever you do.

Thanksgiving is a time when you can use your creativity to your advantage in the world of Text marketing, so really go for it!

Everyone around you will be taking advantage of the marketing opportunities that come along with Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday so try to stand out of the crowd.

Try and stay away from being generic and add your own personal touches into the mix. In the end, it will make a really positive difference to your text marketing campaigns!

Brilliant WIFI was among the TOP 15 in the 1MillionCups’ 1 in a Million Competition!

How would you like your brand to be as familiar as Disney, Starbucks or Apple, with customers that are loyal, raving fans?

If you get an email from Disney, aren’t you excited to open it? These companies have spent millions and have dedicated years of marketing to achieve this status. With Brilliant WIFI, Your customers will be just as excited to hear from you, and all you need to do is, PLUG IT IN.

I’m Mobile Mary with Another Brilliant Idea, and I’ve been working with small and large businesses for 28 years, from the US Military, Cities, Restaurant chains, Retail stores, Corporations, Schools, Community Non-profits to Churches, and they all tell me the same thing. They need to find new customers and keep their loyal ones, but they don’t want to deal with the mundane, time-consuming and expensive task of marketing.

In everything we do, we believe in helping our clients be more brilliant in how they approach their marketing efforts. We live in a time where the majority of people are never more than 3 feet away from their mobile device, so offering your customers a way to hear from you, and your brand, with your permission on this very personal device, is brilliant.

Speaking of brilliant , we helped Kawasaki USA drive over 93,000 new customers into their dealerships across the country, all with the mobile phone. How would 93,000 new customers help you?

Many businesses already offer FREE WIFI for different reasons, but with Brilliant WIFI you can attract new customers and keep them happy, all while building long-lasting relationships!

Brilliant WIFI simply plugs into what you already have in place, making it easy for you, giving you a more secure WiFi connection, and making it really easy for your customers, by giving them the choice to log-on with any social media account, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even their email… so they can hear from you, on the platform that THEY are Most comfortable with, plus they are Giving you permission and encouragement to communicate with them…

Plus, your customers don’t have to bother asking “What’s the password?”As there is no password! Its still the Free WIFI that your customers expect, but now without the hassle of data entry on either end, and lack of results for you!

Brilliant WIFI automates your marketing by sending instant or a series of timed messaging that will engage and drive your customers back to your store with Birthday messages, mobile coupons, retargeting Ads on Facebook, even giving instant rewards when they come back to your store!

Grow your business, make your customers happy, engage them so they become more loyal, and make money from something that you are already giving away. Get Brilliant WIFI.

I want to thank you all for voting for me, and for believing in what we are trying to do, helping our customers be more profitable, have more fun and be more brilliant with their marketing! Thank you!

Generation Z Thinks & Buys Differently

gen-z Admit it. The world is changing all the time. And the businesses that want to keep up with the stride of time must be versatile. And for a business to be versatile, it’s crucial to see what the customer base used to be like, and what the customer base is like.

Today, a significant part of the customer base is Generation Z. Born between 1990s and early 2000s; they’re next to Generation Y in order. What’s different about Generation Z in comparison with other Generations (X and Y) is the way they interact with technology and modern markets. Here are 5 ways in which Generation Z is different from its predecessors:

mobile-shopping

They Use Technology To Buy

Between 1990 and 2010, a lot happened. Apple went from selling the Apple II to iPhone. Microsoft went from selling DOS to selling Windows 8. And during these times, the generation we call ‘Generation Z’ was being born or raised. These young people saw technology changing in their childhood. They didn’t see the times when communicating a message could take weeks. For them, it’s weird not to be able to find information about a product or brand on the internet. In short, the advanced state of technology and the rapidly changing world don’t freak them out. They’re so used to change that products which are overly consistent seem like bad choices to them. And this reflects in their buying behavior.

The Generation Z prefers to use technology as its medium. Very few like to go out and loiter in the malls. If you want to sell to these people, you’d better come up with a cool app idea, build a super-cool app with a platform like Brilliant Mobile Apps , and then put your merchandise on it, or this generation wouldn’t even know of your existence. But there’s one thing that distinguishes them from the older online consumers. For the former, buying online and through apps is a very normal way of shopping. Unlike the older generations, they don’t have a million questions nagging them when they are swiping through the merchandise. For them, it’s just a normal way to shop. In other words, they approach the market through a different medium and a different mindset when using that medium.

make-it-easy-clouds

They Love Convenience:

The generation Z shows a marked inclination towards convenience, and it could be attributable to their parents’ upbringing. Most of the generation Z was born to parents falling in the generation X. It was a generation that did not appeal much to the marketers. They weren’t as many as the baby boomers or the part of the ‘boom let’. These were a small segment of the whole population, which made them an unattractive small pie in the huge American cake. Add to this, this generation was born at a time when the divorce rate was increasing. They are the ones who saw single-parent families getting common. In other words, not only were they left unattended by the marketers, but also by their own parents, which resulted in alterations of the traditional nuclear family structure, and this had its result: their kids, Generation X, didn’t always have an over-protective mother mollycoddling them all the time. Many of them grew up alone. And this, too, reflects in their buying pattern.

Generation Z is a stickler for convenience items. Unlike Generation X or Y, they don’t see convenience as luxury. For them, convenience is a necessity. This generation doesn’t believe that sweating makes you better. Quite the contrary. For them, “if you can do it without all the hard work, just do it”. There’s no point in doing things yourself when you can get others do it for less than you’d make by doing your own job for that amount of time. Put simply, this generation sees convenience as the flip-side of efficiency. And that’s why Generation Z has the largest proportions of consumers buying items for convenience.

They Are More Selective:

Don’t even think that this convenience-loving generation is going to buy whatever appears good. It’s a generation that saw recession in the very early phase of its life, and researches show that generations coming of age through financial straits are careful with money. They have a deep-rooted sense of financial insecurity, which they express in their buying patterns. Add to this, they were born to parents who were also products of similar straits. In other words, generation Z has frugality both in its genes and in its conditioning, and it is obvious in how they shop: they are the most discriminating consumers in the market. They show least tolerance for something unnecessary. For instance, they won’t pay more just because something has an extra feature. They will consider if the feature adds some real value to the product, if the value is worth the cost, if they can get it in some other way, and a dozen other questions. Even when buying gadgets or “luxury” items, they tend not to be impulsive consumers. They value convenience and gadgets, but they also value money. And when making a purchase, they make sure that every penny they spend buys them something of real value.

They Love for Escapism:

Generation X is notorious for its escapist tendencies, and generation Z seems to have inherited it from them. This generation values things that have the ability to take them out of the mundane surroundings of real life. From more unrealistic movie plots to more close-to-reality video games, this pattern is obvious. This generation shows willingness to transcend the natural limitations of time and space and experiment with the surreal, and all this is visible in their spending behavior. They may never buy a second-best sci-fi novel or movie, but they will happily pay top dollar to get the best one.

They Are More Informed:

This comes with their discriminating nature but takes a slightly different dimension. Generation Z likes to trust the words of one another within it, and that’s why it’s the most reviews-obsessed generation in the US. Go to any website or social networking site and you’ll notice this: most reviewers are from this generation, and they are also the ones most concerned about them. This is a generation that just loves researching before buying. These kids would Google the item and all its alternatives, read tons of reviews, chew it over for a day or two and would only then buy the item. They just won’t fall for the slick promotions that Generation Y or Z consumers seem to be an easy prey for.

 

First- vs. Third-Party Data Explained

When people surf the web, they leave behind a trail of information from Google searches and websites to what YouTube videos they watch.

But that isn’t the only information mobile marketers can use.

Video Credit: http://adage.com

NFC Technology Explained

While NFC technology has been around for a while, it’s just starting to take off

So what does this mean for mobile marketers? Let’s break it down… 🙂

 

Video Credit: http://adage.com

Geofences Explained

A geofence is a GPS-enabled electronic barrier that allows marketers to send location-specific messages to potential customers’ smartphones once they enter into the defined geographic area, which can range in size from a single store to an entire city.

We’ll break it down for you. 🙂

Video Credit: http://adage.com

Cross Screen Marketing Explained

Marketing is tough enough on one screen, never mind across multiple devices with different behaviors on each. It seems impossible.

Or is it? Let’s break it down… 🙂

Video Credit: http://adage.com

Google Announces Deadline to become Mobile-Friendly

The fact that Google has put a Deadline of April 21st on its Mobile Search Algorithm announcement, and used the words “significant impact”… shows that this is IMPORTANT for your business!

Do you want your business to be found in mobile search results? We can help!

Per an article on Google’s Webmaster Blog, (http://bit.ly/1BZjBoj) Google wants you to know the following:

When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, Google’s algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns. In the past, Google has made updates to ensure a site is configured properly and viewable on modern devices. Google made it easier for users to find mobile-friendly web pages and they’ve introduced App Indexing to surface useful content from apps.

 

Here are the two important changes to help users discover more mobile-friendly content:

 

1. More mobile-friendly websites in search results

Starting April 21, Google will be expanding their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in their search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

What does this mean to you? If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, after April 21st your customers won’t be able to find you easily when they try and find you from their phone. Solution: Let us build you a mobile-friendly website. We can either build you a responsive website that can be read easily on all devices, and that can be done for approximately $2500-$5000 depending on your content and custom-coding needs. OR if that seems too big of a hassle for you right now, we can build you a simple Mobile Website that can sit on-top of what you currently have, so it will be searchable by Google, and then people can flip to your standard site for more detailed information. Mobile websites are approximately $500, and can be completed within a week!

 

2. More relevant app content in search results

Google has also begun to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, Google may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search. This means your Google App can help you be found in search results!

What does this mean to you? If you want to get more SEO juice, meaning being found even more easily on the search engines, then index your Google/Android App with deep links. Solution: If you don’t have a Google/Android App, then let us provide that solution, and build you one!

If you have questions about either mobile-friendly websites or app indexing, we’re always happy to chat, please contact MobileMary (951) 898-3727 soon to make sure you will be found when you mobile customers need you!

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